A comparative study of the gender composition of work forces in Britain and the Netherlands, 1940-1990 : with special reference to banking
The question which formed the starting point of this research, and which has provided the central thread in this work is 'how can the later integration of Dutch women into the formal economy, compared to British women, in the period between 1940 and 1990, be explained?' This study looks at this question from (1) a macro perspective and (2) from the perspective of a middle-range case-study in the banking sector. In the macro perspective, theoretical discussions on how the post-war increase in women's participation in the labour market may be explained, and how comparative differences between industrialised countries in this respect may be explained, are brought forward. This provides the basis for a comparative historical investigation in which three historical periods are highlighted; the Second World War years, the post-war years (1945-1970) and the contemporary period (1970-1990). Particular reference is made to such issues as the marriage bar in employment and changes in ideological notions around women's paid employment. Changes in the gender composition of bank staff, and comparative differences in these changes, are investigated in their own right. This is done within the context of the same historical periods, though different theoretical considerations are taken into account. This case-study is in turn used to contrast what is occurring on the aggregate level with the banking sector. This highlights (1) the culturally specific histories of each society in relation to the themes investigated and (2) the particularity of the banking sectors in each society and their employment organisation.