Alternative employment arrangements: A gender perspective

Janet H. Marler, Phyllis Moen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


In this study we drew on national-level data to investigate the gendered nature of two alternative employment arrangements (independent contractors and temporary agency help), preferences for such arrangements, and the extent to which such arrangements accommodate work/family career quandaries of contemporary workers. Multivariate analyses revealed the perpetuation of gender schema and gendered structures, but this varied by type of alternative employment arrangement. Greater preference for temporary agency employment by married women than by married men derived from women not having to be the primary source of family income, rather than from an effort to "balance" work and child-rearing responsibilities. There were also gender differences in the tendency of married men and women to be independent contractors; women were less likely to be contractors. However, this alternative employment arrangement offers potential for both men and women to satisfy or challenge other gendered family structures and schema.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)337-349
Number of pages13
JournalSex Roles
Issue number5-6
StatePublished - Mar 2005

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Support for the research reported here was provided by grants from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation (#99-6-23, #2002-6-8). Support was also provided by Harvard University’s Radcliff Institute for Advanced Study, where the second author served as an invited fellow. The authors wish to thank the Cornell Careers Institute fellows and staff for their assistance, especially Pamela Tolbert, Veronica Banks, and Sarah Jaenike Demo.


  • Alternative employment arrangements
  • Gender schema
  • Independent contractors
  • Temporary work
  • Work and family


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