This paper draws upon research on women’s employment in the UK book publishing industry. Contrary to public opinion that publishing offers exceptional opportunities for women, the survey revealed that although women make up 60 per cent of the workforce, men were more than twice as likely to become managers and more than 5 times as likely to become directors. Processes contributing to gendered occupational segregation and the operation of dual labour markets are analysed in terms of “pressures” and “preferences”; mediated by a traditionally informal approach to personnel practices. Structural change is creating polarisation into large conglomerates and small specialised operations; the implications for women’s careers are discussed briefly.
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