The [Human Resource Management] Revolution Will Not Be Televised: The Rise and Feminization of Human Resource Management and Labor Force Equity
PublisherSAGE Publications Inc.
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Since the late 1970s, the profession of human resource management has grown in both size and influence. The number of human resource managers in 2010 is almost twice the number that existed in 1980. Furthermore, this profession has become increasingly feminized since the 1970s—today, around 60 percent of human resource managers are women. While previous research has found that women’s presence in certain occupations can improve gender equity, there has yet to be an examination of whether the increased representation of women in human resource management has affected gender equity more broadly. In this article, I analyze data from the U.S. Census from 1980 to 2000 and from the American Community Survey for 2010 to explore whether the rise and feminization of human resources has affected women’s representation in management. The findings reveal that the increased presence of both white and black women in human resources has been accompanied by greater representation of women in management, although the effects are much larger for white women’s presence in human resources. © The Southern Sociological Society 2017.