Document Type

Working Paper

Publication Date



Regional Research Institute

Document Number



Regional Research Institute


In this study, I investigate how the gender of the social contact women use to find jobs affects the gender composition of the jobs that women find. Using a subsample of women in the Metropolitan Employer Worker Survey, I test two competing hypotheses about the effects of gender of social contact using multivariate logistic regression. Controlling for a range of individual, household, occupation/industry and organization variables, the analysis shows that females are significantly less likely to find female dominated jobs when they find their jobs through male contacts, compared to female contacts. Moreover, I also show that traditional measures of contact type (weak vs. strong tie) make little difference. What is important is the gender of the social contract, not the tie strength. Additionally, I show that women who find their current job through female contacts are just as likely to find a female dominated job as women who find their jobs through advertisements, employment agencies, and other highly visible sources of information. Implications for theory and research are discussed.