Segregated occupations and gender stereotyping: a study of secretarial work in Europe

Catherine Truss, Robert Goffee, Gareth Jones

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15 Citations (Scopus)


Much has been written about the "gendered" nature of many occupations, especially to explain how they have developed and maintained their female-dominated identity. This article reports the findings of one study of women working as secretaries in England, France, and Germany, in an attempt to assess the validity of this explanation. Data were collected by questionnaire and interview from secretaries, and by interview from their bosses. It was found that secretarial work in all three countries does conform to some of the gender stereotypes, but that organizational and societal factors impinge on the social construction of secretarial work. Some consideration is given to the role of the secretary as agent, acting to shape her work identity, which has hitherto been ignored in the literature.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1331-1354
Number of pages24
JournalHuman Relations
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 1995
Externally publishedYes

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