The trend is “odd,” Ingersoll and his co-authors—all education scholars and most of them former classroom teachers—write in the report. Generally speaking, starting in the 1970s the country’s occupations witnessed a significant decline in gender segregation as the number of women in the workforce soared. An index that measures how many women or men would need to change jobs to achieve equal gender distribution across occupations fell 26 percent between 1972 and 2002, when it was at its lowest point, according to a 2010 report by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research.

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