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|Title:||A Not-So-Gentle Invasion: Changes to Women’s Participation in Public Service Workforces in the 1970s|
|Publisher:||Business and Labour History Group, The University of Sydney|
|Citation:||Business Schools and History: proceedings of the second annual conference of AAHANZBS, 16-17 December 2010, The University of Sydney / edited by Greg Patmore|
|Abstract:||The increase in women’s workforce participation is one of the most significant changes to labour markets in recent decades. This research considers the timing, circumstances and effects of the policy changes that affected the participation of women in the Queensland public service (QPS). It traces the construction of the barriers to women’s participation in the early 1900s, and the dismantling of those barriers in the 1970s. It argues that the Queensland government had effectively created secondary labour market conditions for its female employees, through policies such as the marriage bar, restrictions on the quantity of female recruits and different career structures for women. Decisions to relax or remove these decisions required more than social acceptance, but also conducive labour market and economic conditions. Once the Queensland government removed demand-side barriers in the early 1970s and offered female employees the same pay and opportunities as male employees, women flocked into the Queensland public service – not slowly and gradually in response to preferences and supply-side choices, but dramatically in a short period. The proportion of female employees in the QPS increased disproportionately compared to the increases in the broader Australian labour market. By 1975, women comprised 60 per cent of all recruits to QPS, providing an early forecast of the proportion of women in the QPS today.|
|Rights and Permissions:||The author retains copyright of this work.|
|Type of Work:||Conference paper|
|Appears in Collections:||Business Schools and History: Proceedings of the Second AAHANZBS Conference - 2010|
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