Employment Inequities and Minority Women: The Role of Wage Devauation

By Vinita Ambwani and Lorraine Dyke.

Published by The Diversity Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

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.

Keywords: Wage Depression, Wage Devaluation, Occupational Segregation, Female Immigrants, Minority Women

International Journal of Diversity in Organizations, Communities and Nations, Volume 7, Issue 5, pp.143-152. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 587.978KB).

Vinita Ambwani

PhD Candidate, Eric Sprott School of Business, Carleton University, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Vinita Ambwani is a PhD candidate in management at the Sprott Business School, Carleton University in Ottawa. Ms. Ambwani has several years of industry experience and has taught courses in Marketing, Finance and International Business areas as an Assistant Professor at Mount Allison University of Canada. Ms. Ambwani holds an MBA from Baruch College, CUNY, NY in the USA and an MS in Physics from Bhopal University, India. Her current research interests include minority and immigrant populations as workers in host countries and she has authored research papers that have been accepted at the Academy of Management conference and Administrative Sciences Association of Canada.

Dr. Lorraine Dyke

Associate Professor, Eric Sprott School of Business, Carleton University, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Dr. Lorraine Dyke is an Associate Professor in the Eric Sprott School of Business at Carleton University where she teaches courses in Management and Organizational Behaviour, Women in Management, Managing Workforce Diversity and Managing Groups. Dr. Dyke is also the founder and current Director of the Centre for Research and Education on Women and Work and the Management Development Program for Women at Carleton. Professor Dyke holds an M.B.A. and Ph.D. in Management from Queen's University. Dr. Dyke's research interests centre on careers, the changing workplace and women in management. Dr. Dyke is a co-author of two monographs: Career Development in the Public Service: Building a World-Class Workforce published by Treasury Board in 1999 and Managing High Technology Employees published by Carswell in 2000. She is the author of numerous research articles and has received extensive funding for her research. She is also the recipient of three Best Paper Awards from the Academy of Management and the Administrative Sciences Association of Canada. Dr. Dyke was recently nominated as a YMCA-YWCA Woman of Distinction in the Learning for Life category.

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