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Ely and Meyerson’s gendered organizations framework reconceptualizes traditional gender differences defined by biology and lack of structural opportunities, to a complex set of social relations in the workplace. We apply this framework to second-generation gender bias to further understand impediments to women’s career progression in the public sector workplace. In-depth interviews of state-level administrators in U.S. public sector agencies indicate that “narratives” perpetuate second-generation gender bias that is deeply ingrained in organizational practices and policies, especially for women and women of color. This framework can be applied to future studies examining the gendered nature of organizations in different workplace settings. Moving beyond already identified barriers, this study offers a comprehensive framework to understand how second-generation gender bias is central to long-standing workplace inequities.


This article was originally published in The American Review of Public Administration, available at



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