AND POLICY IMPLICATIONS
In the initial statistical analysis conducted for this research, we addressed gender representation in military occupations but did not attempt to determine the correct level of representation. Absent high-level guidance from Congress, policymakers, or the military services, it is unclear what the integration target should be. Lacking policy or legal guidance on integration targets, we chose to compare the level of representation to that of the appropriate service and note statistically significant differences in representation. Representation levels differ among occupations for multiple reasons. A primary factor is time elapsed; completely integrating an occupation does take a full career path cycle. There are also valid reasons, such as limited assignment opportunities, to limit the number of women in some occupations. Thus, we assert that this statistical “underrepresentation” or “overrepresentation” should be considered only as a benchmarking data point for comparison with future studies and in concert with qualitative evaluations or occupations, such as that conducted in the second half of our research.
The qualitative portion of this research investigated only a limited number of occupations; thus, the findings from this research may not be representative of other occupations recently opened to women. Nonetheless, the patterns from these occupations suggest issues that might also apply to other occupations. Additionally, lessons learned from these occupations suggest some policy changes or necessary research to determine whether these findings are indicative of similar situations in other occupations.