Women's mobility into upper-tier occupations: Do determinants and timing differ by race?

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8 Scopus citations


Data from the 1998 to 2005 waves of the Panel Study of Income Dynamics are used to assess the particularistic mobility thesis, which maintains that among women there is a racialized continuum in the determinants of and timing to mobility into two "upper-tier" occupational categories. Findings support this theory, though racial gaps along the continuum are greater for professional/technical than for managerial/administrative positions. Specifically, the route to mobility for African Americans is relatively narrow and structured by traditional stratification causal factors, including human capital, background status, and job/labor market characteristics. In contrast, the route to mobility for whites is relatively broad and unstructured by the stratification-based causal factors, and they experience mobility the quickest. Along both dimensions, Latinas occupy an intermediate position between African Americans and whites. Implications of the findings for understanding racial inequality among managers, executives, and professionals are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)131-148
Number of pages18
JournalAnnals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2012


  • mobility
  • race
  • women
  • workplace inequality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Social Sciences(all)


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