ERIC Number: ED354351
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1992-Dec-5
Reference Count: N/A
Facilitating Women's Involvement in Non-Traditional Occupations.
Wolansky, William D.
This paper examines three topics related to women's involvement in non-traditional occupations: (1) the historical origin of occupational classification; (2) the influence of World War II on women's expanded participation in the workforce; and (3) women's entry into non-traditional occupations. The industrial revolution in Europe and later in the United States created the need for occupational specialization. Both the military and the apprenticeship system prevented women from entering into nontraditional occupations. The major shift of women into nontraditional occupations occurred in the United States during World War II when there were insufficient male workers to produce the military supplies needed for war. Women demonstrated that they could be as efficient and capable as men in acquiring and performing complex technological skills. In the recent war in the Persian Gulf, women again demonstrated they could fly helicopters, handle communication systems, and participate in battle. Federal and state legislation is aimed at providing equality of opportunity for men and women. Yet, if one examines the extent of mathematics and science courses that serve as prerequisites for technology, engineering, and science, female students tend to retreat from such advanced courses in high schools. The proportion of workers has been constantly changing from 1960 to the 1990s. In 1960, white males constituted 62 percent of the work force and white females 28 percent; that proportion will reach 46 percent for males and 39 percent for women in 2000. Projections for the 25 million new workers that will be needed between 1985 and 2000 suggest that 64 percent will be women. Enabling and encouraging women to enter nontraditional occupations that generally require higher levels of knowledge and skills will help the United States to develop its human capital and remain competitive in a knowledge-driven and world-linked economy. (Author/KC)
Descriptors: Educational Needs, Employment Opportunities, Equal Opportunities (Jobs), Federal Legislation, Females, Futures (of Society), History, Nontraditional Occupations, Postsecondary Education, Secondary Education, Sex Bias, Sex Discrimination, State Legislation, Vocational Education, Womens Education
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Vocational Association (St. Louis, MO, December 5, 1992).