Women in Nontraditional Occupations

Choice and Turnover

by Linda Waite, Sue E. Berryman

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This report uses data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth Labor Market Behavior to test a series of hypotheses about characteristics of individuals and their families that influence their occupational preferences and their turnover in the military and in civilian jobs. The study's findings have three important policy implications: (1) women enlistees have much lower exit rates from the armed forces than their counterparts in civilian jobs; (2) job traditionality does not affect turnover for women in civilian jobs (for a variety of definitions of the traditionality variable and for several alternative specifications of the civilian turnover model); and (3) for women in the military there is no effect of being in a traditionally female or a traditionally male occupation on turnover.

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