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Female-dominated regulated occupations: Librarians and other public-sector professionals
This chapter explores the gender pay gap in public services, comparing the female-dominated librarian workforce to other professions. In the highly regulated public-sector environment, with standardized pay scales and job evaluation processes, and decades of equal employment policies, the gender pay gap should have disappeared. We use Cockburn’s typology of skill, that is, skill in the person, skill for the job, and skill in the setting. The gender pay gap existed due to decisions around skill in the setting, including managerial interpretation of the industrial instrument obstructing progression through lower classification levels, and management decisions resulting in librarians having lesser access to higher-level jobs than male-dominated professions. Despite high levels of regulation, librarians are disadvantaged by discretionary decisions made in the gaps of this regulatory scaffold.