Salut à toi, cher préparationnaire, les concours approchent et tu as certainement envie de t’entraîner sur un sujet très à la mode en ce moment : les inégalités de genre au travail. Voici donc un article issu du New York Times, accompagné de ma copie et de la proposition de correction. Bon courage !
Tu peux retrouver l’article à cette adresse, sinon le voilà :
Women’s Gains in the Work Force Conceal a Problem
American women have just achieved a significant milestone: They hold more payroll jobs than men. But this isn’t entirely good news for workers, whether they’re men or women.
The difference is small, but it reflects the fact that women have been doing better in the labor market compared with men. One big reason is that the occupations that are shrinking tend to be male-dominated, like manufacturing, while those that are growing remain female-dominated, like health care and education. That puts men at a disadvantage in today’s economy — but it also ensures that the female-dominated jobs remain devalued and underpaid.
“Female-dominated jobs in the working class are just not comparable to men’s jobs,” said Janette Dill, a sociologist at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health. “So yes, it’s great to see women participating at such a high level in the labor market, but it also really means continuing challenges for working-class families, because these jobs just don’t replace manufacturing jobs in terms of job quality and wages.”
Women now hold 50.04 percent of payroll jobs (which excludes people who work on farms or in households or are self-employed), according to the Labor Department’s jobs report this month. (Men are still a larger share of the labor force than women, a number that is calculated differently — it includes people who don’t have jobs but are looking for work; farm and household workers; and self-employed people.)
The only other time women have held more jobs was in mid-2010, when men were hit particularly hard by the recession and the decline in construction and manufacturing jobs. This time, the economy is thriving — but women seem better able to take advantage of it.
Reasons for the decline in work for less educated men are many. They include the rise of automation; the waning power of unions; rising incarceration rates; the factories that move overseas; and hurdles to switching jobs like having to move away or return to school. But gender norms are a major and often overlooked factor. However much politicians talk about manufacturing jobs, the United States economy has become service-dominated — and jobs helping people have typically been done by women, while jobs making things have been associated with men.
Women’s success in the labor market has been driven by their educational gains, and by black and Hispanic women. While women in large numbers have moved into male-dominated jobs, especially professional ones, the reverse isn’t true. Women are 84 percent of social services workers and 78 percent of health care workers. Differences in the jobs that men and women choose are now the single largest cause of the gender pay gap, accounting for more than half of it, research by the economists Francine Blau and Lawrence Kahn has found.
Sex segregation is much more prevalent in working-class jobs than in white-collar ones. But even the more prestigious female-dominated jobs, like nurse practitioner or high school teacher, have failed to attract many men. Yet when men do so-called pink-collar jobs, they tend to have more job security and wage growth over time than they would have in blue-collar jobs, research has found.
One reason men are reluctant to take pink-collar jobs is that over all, they pay less than male-dominated ones. When women enter fields in greater numbers, pay declines, the sociologist Paula England and colleagues have found.
“The wages that nursing assistants and home health aides get, and child care workers and teachers get, communicate to society that these jobs are not valued compared to male-dominated jobs, so of course men don’t want to do that,” Ms. Dill said.
Another thing holding men back from service jobs is norms about masculinity. The markers of masculinity include earning a good income and distancing oneself from feminine things, research has shown. Taking a job traditionally done by women threatens both, said Jill Yavorsky, a sociologist at the University of North Carolina, Charlotte.
A new experiment found that when unemployed men looked at job postings, they were willing to take a job that employed mostly women. But if it called for stereotypically female traits like interpersonal skills or care work, they were not, found Ms. Dill, Ms. Yavorsky and Enrica Ruggs at the University of Memphis. Moreover, a study published in December by Ms. Yavorsky found that men, across education levels and job types, were less likely to be called back by employers for interviews when they applied for traditionally female roles.
Policymakers and recruiters have discussed various ways to address this issue, like bringing back manufacturing jobs, or emphasizing the masculine qualities of service jobs. But there’s another solution, researchers say: improving the quality of pink-collar jobs, in terms of wages, stability, benefits and hours. That could both attract men to these jobs and also benefit women.
“There are immense economic benefits to these jobs,” Ms. Yavorsky said. “Inevitably, if they were more highly valued in our society, I think men would be more likely to enter them, and women would very much benefit from the higher wages.”
Improving the quality of pink-collar, working-class jobs has the potential to close gender gaps — and also to shrink the widening gaps between the highest and lowest earners, both women and men.
- How does the author explain the gender paradox underlined in the text concerning US jobs?
- According to you, have men been facing a masculiniy crisis in English-speaking countries over the last decades?
Proposition de correction
Question 1 : How does the author explain the gender paradox underlined in the text concerning US jobs?
Women in the US have recently reached a milestone as they have outnumbered men in payroll jobs and yet, despite this apparent improvement, gender gaps have not been bridged. This paradoxical situation exposes the complex picture of the current US job market.
The number of women in the workforce has significantly increased because of the changing nature of work due to the transformation of the US economy into a service economy. The so-called “pink-collar” working-class jobs, in healthcare or in education, are in high demand and women have therefore thrived in these sectors, even if an increasing number of them also holds higher ranking jobs that used to be male preserves. However, working-class male workers have turned their backs on these jobs, even when they can no longer work for the manufacturing industry and women are therefore overrepresented in the service economy.
This gender discrepancy has stalled gender equality. Pink-collar jobs are poor-paying jobs and account for men snubbing them, leading to a commonly-observed situation by sociologists: the more women enter a profession, the lower the salaries are. Beyond the pay gap, lies the issue of gender identity through jobs. Working-class men working in the services often feel that their masculinity is undermined because their jobs are labelled “women’s occupations”. As long as this sexual discrimination prevails, women and men will not be on an equal footing on the job market.
Therefore, if the number of women in payroll jobs is a sign of empowerment, contempt for their jobs and the low incomes they receive will maintain gender discrimination.
Question 2 : According to you, have men been facing a masculinity crisis in English-speaking countries over the last decades?
The election of D. Trump is often considered a political landmark, but some have also scrutinized its sociological meaning, relating it to a so-called “crisis of masculinity”. In my opinion, the notion definitely makes sense, but like many sociological concepts, it cannot fully account for the complexity of today’s reality.
How to interpret the choice of an authoritarian white male like D. Trump, who clearly despises feminist movements and is eager to restrict reproductive rights? Some researchers regard it as a male-chauvinist backlash from a fringe of the population, notably working-class white males struggling to find their roles in a society where women have grown independent debunked and the evolution of women’s rights -not to mention the landslide that followed #MeToo- may explain the anxiety of the male population.
Yet, is it meaningful to argue that there is a global masculinity crisis, as if all men were affected by such a phenomenon? Young urban men living in thriving cities like London will probably reply that they have never been as free as they are today and that they do not in the least feel threatened by the evolution of women’s role. The concept of masculinity crisis is also questioned by some academics, who argue that it tends to pit men against women, which is decidedly reductive and counterproductive.
Though some might be deluded into thinking that the evolution of women’s status poses a threat to men’s virility, I think male identity is currently being redefined for the better and both genders will eventually benefit from these evolutions.
Bonus : quelques expressions thématiques
- gender/sex discrimination = discrimination sexuelle
- to discriminate against = discriminer
- to endure bullying = supporter le harcèlement
- a gender discrimination lawsuit = un procès contre la discrimination du genre
- the glass ceiling is cracking = le plafond de verre se fissure
- to tackle income equality = s’attaquer aux inégalités salariales
- to set gender quotas = fixer des quotas
- to leverage the skills of a diverse workforce = tirer parti des compétences d’une main-d’œuvre, équipe diversifiée
- to build a more inclusive workplace = développer un lieu de travail plus ouvert
- fair-minded bosses = des patrons justes, impartiaux
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