Inderscience Publishers

Gender, education, background and career progression: case study of Radcliffe College graduates

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This study explores the professional development of female graduates of Radcliffe College, an Ivy League college in the USA. A secondary statistical analysis of the 1977 Radcliffe Centennial Survey shows how changing social, political, institutional, and economic forces influenced the post-graduate career pathways of female alumnae. Independent of era, a Radcliffe degree could propel most women to the second tier professional status level of managers. Regardless of social class background, the women experienced similar career trajectories. However it was extremely rare for these women to climb to the highest step on the career ladder, indicating the difficulties of overcoming institutional and social barriers to advancement.

Keywords: gender, education, employment, class background, sustainable development, sustainability, career progression, USA, United States, career pathways, post-graduate careers, female alumnae, women, social class, institutional barriers, social barriers

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