Objective: To understand how gender structures the occupations of essential workers and which essential workers serve in political office. Methods: We first use population-level data by gender and occupation to examine the gender segregation of occupations deemed essential. Using the population composition as our baseline, we then examine descriptive representation using a new data set that codes the presence of essential workers in 30 state legislatures over 15 years. Results: We show that men and women make up similar shares of the occupations considered essential during COVID, but the occupations that they hold are highly gender segregated. We find that women essential workers and those from women-dominated occupations are dramatically underrepresented in state legislatures. Conclusion: Documenting the (lack of) representation of essential workers, and particularly those from women-dominated occupations, in decision-making bodies is a critical first step to understanding policy making in response to COVID-19.
|Number of pages||7|
|Journal||Social Science Quarterly|
|State||Published - Sep 1 2020|
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© 2020 by the Southwestern Social Science Association
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Sciences (all)