Cover: The Status of Gender Integration in the Military

The Status of Gender Integration in the Military

Analysis of Selected Occupations

Published Apr 1, 2002

by Margaret C. Harrell, Megan K. Beckett, Sandy Chien, Jerry M. Sollinger


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For most of their history in the U.S. military services, women have faced stringent limits on where they could serve, what they could do, and what units they could join. This has changed over the last decade. But has opening new skills and units to women been enough? Do barriers remain that bar women even from some formally open occupations? The authors broadly assessed female representation in newly open occupations, then examined ten specific occupations in detail. Success has been mixed, in part because of the circumstances of individual occupations. For example, accession and assignment limitations have a more significant influence on representation than the nature of the work itself or women's success relative to men in training. In fact, some things — such as retention and choice of aircraft — are issues for men as well as women. Moreover, some of the early successes could be subject to the pioneer effect. Among the authors' recommendations is female representation needs to be analyzed and understood by occupation.

The research described in this report was performed under the auspices of RAND's National Security Research Division.

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