Women in Blue: Structural and Individual Determinants of Sex Segregation in Blue-Collar Occupations Articles uri icon

publication date

  • June 2019

start page

  • 410

end page

  • 438


  • 3


  • 33

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0891-2432

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1552-3977


  • The number of women occupying male-dominated blue-collar jobs continues to be very low. This study examines segregation in the blue-collar trades, taking into consideration both structural and individual factors. Using nationally representative data for 25 countries, the study shows that segregation in the blue-collar sector does not vary with the strength of vocational education and training programs. At the individual level, findings reveal higher degrees of social reproduction among working-class families, but parental background alone does not fully account for the gender composition of the sector in which children end up working. Overall, the findings point to the existence of a socializing mechanism that entrenches horizontal segregation in the blue-collar sector. The study indicates that to reduce segregation in the blue-collar fields, policies must address this prior mechanism, both at the structural and individual level.


  • Sociology


  • sex segregation; blue-collar jobs; male-dominated occupations; vocational education and training; family background; gender; gender revolution; work; devaluation; inequality; mobility; choices; trends; uneven; state; field