- Pink-collar worker
A pink-collar worker works in a job that is considered traditionally female (these traditions generally harking back to the first half of the twentieth century). The term is formed by an analogy to "blue collar" and "
The term originally arose to distinguish these jobs from white collar jobs, and to distinguish women in these roles from other white-collar workers, because their work did not require as much professional training, nor did it carry equal pay or prestige.
In most industries and careers, and in most cultures, women in the workforce had traditionally been given lesser pay and limited career opportunities. This was true when women entered the blue-collar factory workforce during the
Industrial Revolution; in hospitals, where they were traditionally limited to the role of nurses; and in the teaching profession where the teaching of children frequently held little prestige. This pattern was repeated when significant numbers of women began to enter the office workforce in the early twentieth century.
Several factors played into the rise of the pink collar sector. Most importantly, women in industrialized nations began to actively seek their own
incomerather than relying on men to support them. Often kept out of traditional blue and white collar jobs by physical requirements and prejudice, many women found ways to take their domestic skills into the world of paid work. But despite the expansion in employment that women had, married women were still the secondary earners in their household during the 1950s to the 1970s.
Pink collar positions have spread rapidly as more and more women enter the workforce. Greater wealth in industrialized nations also means that more money is spent on the services provided by pink collar positions.
During the twentieth century, with some ups and downs and with different degrees of change in different countries, there began to be less separation between men's and women's jobs. One of the great victories of
second-wave feminismwas the breakdown of much of the remaining formal institutionalization of these gender roles in the workplace. For example, in 1972, " The New York Times" stopped running separate "Help Wanted - Male" and "Help Wanted - Female" advertisements. Increasingly, women have opportunities in traditionally male white-collar jobs and men have opportunities in traditionally female pink-collar jobs; also, during this period, pay for pink-collar jobs has generally improved, as have the prospects of moving up the promotion ladder. Still, certain jobs remain overwhelmingly female, and are still generally considered "pink collar".
Pink collar occupations include:
*Many other lower-level positions in the
* Grey-collar workers
* [http://www.bartleby.com/61/52/P0315200.html The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition]
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