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Behind the counter. Female inroads, obstacles and careers in the Swedish commercial bank sector, 1885-1937.

Holmberg, Kajsa LU (2013)
Abstract
This study investigates the feminisation of the Swedish commercial bank sector between 1885 and 1937, during which time the female labour share increased from 10 to 27 per cent. More specifically, it is examined why the banks hired women, and why they did not hire women to an even greater extent. The study employs a queue-theoretical framework, and a micro-level panel database constructed from the previously unexplored Swedish bank matriculation registers; full records of all white-collar staff in all Swedish bank firms, issued with approximately five-year intervals from 1885 onwards, circa 43,000 employee-year observations.

The study identifies changes in the character of bank work, which increased its congruence with what had... (More)
This study investigates the feminisation of the Swedish commercial bank sector between 1885 and 1937, during which time the female labour share increased from 10 to 27 per cent. More specifically, it is examined why the banks hired women, and why they did not hire women to an even greater extent. The study employs a queue-theoretical framework, and a micro-level panel database constructed from the previously unexplored Swedish bank matriculation registers; full records of all white-collar staff in all Swedish bank firms, issued with approximately five-year intervals from 1885 onwards, circa 43,000 employee-year observations.

The study identifies changes in the character of bank work, which increased its congruence with what had traditionally been considered ”women’s work, as the key cause of the sustained employment of women, by removing social obstacles to female recruitment allowing the lower cost of female labour to come into play, and reducing the relative attractivness of bank work in the eyes of traditional upper-middle class male labour, lowering its resistance to feminisation. As banks found it increasingly difficult to attract their preferred-type of male labour, sex trumped class as upper-class women were preferred over working class men, which can be related to the banks’ high status and need to inspire confidence in the public. In the background of these factors, labour demand was also an important determinant of the feminisation pattern of the commercial bank sector, particularly its slow pace. Because social norms made the active substitution of men for women very costly, female advances were dependent on growth- and turnover of labour. As labour demand waned, so did the pace of feminisation. (Less)
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author
supervisor
opponent
  • Ph D/Associate Professor Petersson, Tom, Uppsala universitet
organization
publishing date
type
Thesis
publication status
published
subject
keywords
occupational feminisation, commercial banks, sex-typing, gender, job queues, labour queues
defense location
EC3:207, Holger Craafords Ekonomicentrum, Lund
defense date
2013-10-15 10:00
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
b9e8ddb5-b54b-4bef-88a8-fba945852b09 (old id 4058035)
date added to LUP
2013-09-24 15:32:04
date last changed
2016-09-19 08:45:18
@phdthesis{b9e8ddb5-b54b-4bef-88a8-fba945852b09,
  abstract     = {This study investigates the feminisation of the Swedish commercial bank sector between 1885 and 1937, during which time the female labour share increased from 10 to 27 per cent. More specifically, it is examined why the banks hired women, and why they did not hire women to an even greater extent. The study employs a queue-theoretical framework, and a micro-level panel database constructed from the previously unexplored Swedish bank matriculation registers; full records of all white-collar staff in all Swedish bank firms, issued with approximately five-year intervals from 1885 onwards, circa 43,000 employee-year observations.<br/><br>
The study identifies changes in the character of bank work, which increased its congruence with what had traditionally been considered ”women’s work, as the key cause of the sustained employment of women, by removing social obstacles to female recruitment allowing the lower cost of female labour to come into play, and reducing the relative attractivness of bank work in the eyes of traditional upper-middle class male labour, lowering its resistance to feminisation. As banks found it increasingly difficult to attract their preferred-type of male labour, sex trumped class as upper-class women were preferred over working class men, which can be related to the banks’ high status and need to inspire confidence in the public. In the background of these factors, labour demand was also an important determinant of the feminisation pattern of the commercial bank sector, particularly its slow pace. Because social norms made the active substitution of men for women very costly, female advances were dependent on growth- and turnover of labour. As labour demand waned, so did the pace of feminisation.},
  author       = {Holmberg, Kajsa},
  keyword      = {occupational feminisation,commercial banks,sex-typing,gender,job queues,labour queues},
  language     = {eng},
  school       = {Lund University},
  title        = {Behind the counter. Female inroads, obstacles and careers in the Swedish commercial bank sector, 1885-1937.},
  year         = {2013},
}