SAGE Journal Articles

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Journal Article 1: Beckman, C. M., & Phillips, D. J. (2005). Interorganizational determinants of promotion: Client leadership and the attainment of women attorneysAmerican Sociological Review, 70, 678–701.

Abstract: Explanations of gender inequality typically emphasize individual characteristics, the structure of internal labor markets, or pressures from the institutional environment. Extending the structuralist and institutional perspectives, this article argues that the demographic composition of an organization's exchange partners can influence the demographic composition of the focal organization when the focal organization is dependent upon its partners. Specifically, law firms with women-led corporate clients increase the number of partners who are women attorneys. Data on elite law firms and their publicly traded clients support a bargaining power hypothesis whereby law firms promote women attorneys when their corporate clients have women in three key leadership positions: general (legal) counsel, chief executive officer, and board director. These effects are stronger when the law firm has few clients, reinforcing the hypothesis that interorganizational influence is more vital when a focal organization is dependent on its exchange partner. The results also support a related explanation based on homophily theory. The analysis rules out several alternative explanations and establishes a relationship between the presence of women-led clients and the promotion of women attorneys in law firms.


Journal Article 2: Blair-Loy, M., & Dehart, G. (2003). Family and career trajectories among African American female attorneysJournal of Family Issues, 24, 908–933.

Abstract: Professional African American women are vastly understudied in sociology. We address that omission by examining how the intersection of race with the structure of elite, male-dominated occupations shapes family and work trajectories for a sample of 203 African American female attorneys. Like the general population of African American women, respondents with partners and with children do not seem to suffer a wage penalty. But like White women in male-dominated, prestigious professions, respondents tend to delay or avoid childbearing, particularly if they have uninterrupted careers. Their integration of work and family is supported by family resources found particularly in the Black community yet is also constrained by the demands of elite, male-dominated careers. We also find evidence of an impact of the historical period on respondents' work and family trajectories.

Journal Article 3: Clemans, S. E. (2004). Life changing: The experience of rape-crisis workAffilia, 19, 146–159.

Abstract: Sexual violence has been studied extensively in the social work literature. However, the experiences of social workers in organizations that serve clients who are victims of sexual violence have been given limited attention. This article presents the findings of a qualitative study that explored the experiences of 21 women employees of rape-crisis programs. The findings suggest that social work with such clients presented the workers with a host of emotional and existential challenges, such as increased feelings of vulnerability as women, diminished trust in others, and questioning the overall goodness of society.