Sociology, Department of


Date of this Version



Published in Work and Occupations 13:4 (November 1986), pp. 511–531; doi: 10.1177/0730888486013004004 Copyright © 1987 Sage Publications. Used by permission.


This article explores the “gender model” of job research instruments that are based on the Holland Occupational Classification scheme. The six Holland “environments” constitute a ubiquitous base for tests and measures in career counseling and research. Analysis of the 1973 Quality of Employment Survey provides evidence that the Holland Classification scheme replicates the segmentation of women into certain occupations that generate low pay, even after controlling for worker education, job tenure, and age. Comparable data for male wage earners show a significant segregation away from low-income, predominantly female occupations. Thus the Holland occupational scheme and the instruments based upon it are likely to contribute to the replication of sex-segregated labor markets. The findings suggest that current models of “work” and job counseling tests and techniques may reinforce, rather than eliminate, the economic disadvantages for women.