Member Publication: Gendered Interpretations of Job Loss and Subsequent Professional Pathways

Check out this new article by OOW member Aliya Hamid Rao:

Citation

Rao AH. Gendered Interpretations of Job Loss and Subsequent Professional Pathways. Gender & Society. Online First. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/08912432211046303

ABSTRACT

While we know that career interruptions shape men’s and women’s professional trajectories, we know less about how job loss may matter for this process. Drawing on interviews with unemployed, college-educated men and women in professional occupations, I show that while both men and women interpret their job loss as due to impersonal “business” decisions, women additionally attribute their job loss as arising from employers’ “personal” decisions. Men’s job loss shapes their subsequent preferred professional pathways, but never in a way that diminishes the importance of their participation in the labor force. For some women in this study, job loss becomes a moment to reflect on their professional pathways, often pulling them back from paid work. This study identifies job loss as an event that, on top of gendered workplace experiences and caregiving obligations, may curtail some women’s participation in paid work.

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