SEARCH

SEARCH BY CITATION

Job segregation—the tendency for men and women to work in different occupations—is often cited as the reason that women's wages lag men's. But this begs the question: What is it about women's jobs that causes them to pay less? We argue that emotional labor offers the missing link in the explanation. Tasks that require the emotive work thought natural for women, such as caring, negotiating, empathizing, smoothing troubled relationships, and working behind the scenes to enable cooperation, are required components of many women's jobs. Excluded from job descriptions and performance evaluations, the work is invisible and uncompensated. Public service relies heavily on such skills, yet civil service systems, which are designed on the assumptions of a bygone era, fail to acknowledge and compensate emotional labor.