Associate Professor, Sociology
Washington State University
CSDE Research Areas:
Gender and race/ethnic labor market inequality, work organizations, workplace diversity, social stratification
Julie Kmec’s research over the past decade has been devoted to addressing how the practices of work organizations shape the context of work for workers and for the firms that employ them. In the last decade she has published on these topics in American Journal of Sociology, Social Problems, Work & Occupations, Social Science Research, and Gender & Society. She currently has two specific projects underway. The first with collaborator, Beth Hirsh, University of British Columbia-Vancouver, examines the connection between organizational human resource practices, formal complaints over discrimination, and race/sex segregation over time among U.S. work establishments. The second project examines the connection between parenthood and the labor market. Kmec has shed light on the mechanisms driving motherhood wage penalties and fatherhood wage bonuses. Using funding from WSU’s NSF ADVANCE Institutional Transformation grant, Kmec has studied the work behaviors of mothers, fathers, and non-parents in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) and on-STEM fields, assessing whether cultural expectations of the “ideal” worker and the “ideal” mother and the different views of parenthood and job compatibility for women and men have implications for the productivity and job rewards of mothers and fathers in academia.