Paula England is a Professor of Sociology and a Silver Professor of Arts and Sciences at New York University. Before joining NYU, she was co-director of a new Stanford-Harvard Collaboration for Poverty Research, aimed at promoting new policy initiatives to deal with social problems related to inequality and poverty. England’s research has focused primarily on understanding women in the labor market, especially the gender gap in pay and how it flows from sex segregation of occupations. Segregation arises from both employer hiring discrimination and gendered socialization that leads men and women to different interests. Once occupations have been segregated, her research has documented that there is a systematic devaluation of female occupations, so they are awarded less pay than male occupations requiring similar kinds of skills. She has also done research on the “motherhood penalty” in pay and its causes.
England is the author of Comparable Worth: Theories and Evidence (Aldine, 1992)and of Households, Employment and Gender: A Social, Economic, and Demographic View (Aldine, 1986). She co-edited (with Kathryn Edin) Unmarried Couples with Children (Russell Sage Foundation, 2007) and Industries, Firms, and Jobs: Sociological and Economic Approaches (with George Farkas) (Plenum, 1988). She has also studied the dynamics of married and cohabiting couples and how they are affected by power, gender norms, and emotional skills.
She has been professor of sociology at Northwestern University, the University of Arizona, and the University of Pennsylvania, where she also served as director of Women’s Studies and the Alice Paul Center for Research on Women and Gender. She has also testified as an expert witness in a number of Title VII discrimination cases.
England has received numerous awards for outstanding scholarship for specific publications. In addition, she has received the Harriet Presser Award for research contributions in Gender and Demography from the Population Association of America, the Distinguished Research Career Award from the American Sociological Association’s Section on Sociology of the Family, and the American Sociological Association’s Jessie Bernard Award for career contributions to scholarship on gender. She was a Fellow of the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, the Sociologists for Women in Society’s Feminist Lecturer for 2009, and a member of the Russel Sage Foundation’s Working Group on Care Work. She has chaired various sections and working groups of the American Sociological Association, served as its President, and remains a member of the Taskforce on the Sociology Major.
In addition to being recognized for her outstanding scholarship, England is known for mentoring new scholars and for fostering dialogue between sociologists, economists, demographers, and feminists.
Paula England: Why female-dominated jobs systematically pay less