Employment Inequities and Minority Women

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  • Title: Employment Inequities and Minority Women: The Role of Wage Devauation
  • Author(s): Vinita Ambwani, Lorraine Dyke
  • Publisher: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Collection: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Series: Diversity in Organizations, Communities & Nations
  • Journal Title: The International Journal of Diversity in Organizations, Communities, and Nations: Annual Review
  • Keywords: Wage Depression, Wage Devaluation, Occupational Segregation, Female Immigrants, Minority Women
  • Volume: 7
  • Issue: 5
  • Year: 2007
  • ISSN: 1447-9532 (Print)
  • ISSN: 1447-9583 (Online)
  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.18848/1447-9532/CGP/v07i05/39459
  • Citation: Ambwani, Vinita, and Lorraine Dyke. 2007. "Employment Inequities and Minority Women: The Role of Wage Devauation." The International Journal of Diversity in Organizations, Communities, and Nations: Annual Review 7 (5): 143-152. doi:10.18848/1447-9532/CGP/v07i05/39459.
  • Extent: 10 pages

Abstract

Past research suggests that employment inequities exist for minority women. Several contributing factors, including human capital differentials, occupational and sector segregation, and wage discrimination, have been studied for their possible role in the wage gap. Research shows that female minorities are segregated in lower status and lower paying jobs, lower levels within occupations and unattractive economic sectors. Possible antecedents of the occupational segregation of minority women include perceptions of lower status compared to dominant populations, the vulnerable economic position of immigrant women, and systemic discrimination or stereotyping. The analysis suggests that the segregation of minority women in occupations, over time, leads to the depression of wage levels in these occupations. This is an extension of wage devaluation theory. Wage devaluation theory has been applied to explain the lower wage levels in professions dominated by women or those dominated by minorities in general. When it comes to female minorities it has been suggested that occupations cannot become ‘female minority typed’ in the same way as ‘female typed’ owing to the smaller relative numbers of minority females. However, we find evidence that certain occupations are becoming minority female dominated and may be experiencing wage devaluation. Research and policy implications resulting from wage devaluation in female minority typed occupations are discussed.