Labor and service delivery : training programs for women in non-traditional occupations
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An evaluation of two programs designed to increase women’s participation in so-called “non-traditional” occupations – Nontraditional Employment for Women (NEW) and Women in Apprenticeships and NonTraditional Occupations (WANTO) – was done using both empirical statistical analysis as well as case study analysis. The results demonstrate the effectiveness of the two grant programs under WANTO and NEW, and provide support for affirmative action in addressing labor market failures like occupational segregation by gender – where women are concentrated in certain jobs, in this case, the skilled trades and crafts. Occupational segregation by gender occurred here, not because women were physiologically incapable of doing certain jobs, but because of sticky flows of information, which could be addressed fairly straightforwardly to help mitigate the institutional discrimination in these workplaces. These results also demonstrate the impact of policymaking by women and for women – and that gender-specific agencies like the Women’s Bureau are necessary for the development and implementation of these policies. Finally, these results also show the important role of the state. Without government involvement, it was shown that a program would fail to institutionalize itself into the decision-making processes of employers, unions, and potential female trainees. Therefore, service delivery for these kinds of programs cannot be wholly turned over to non-governmental entities without some role for the state.