Sociology Index


Pink-collar ghetto is where women are marginalized. Pink-collar is traditionally associated with women. The term Pink-collar ghetto is simply another way of describing Pink-collar work. Pink-collar ghetto refers to jobs thought to be women's work. Stallard, Ehrenreich and Sklar coined the term "pink collar ghetto," in their seminal work on women, children and poverty in America. Since attorneys are predominately women and underpaid, legal services is also considered a pink-collar ghetto. Expanding the dichotomy between blue-collar and white-collar occupations the phrase pink-collar ghetto captures the particular concentration of women in jobs traditionally thought to be women's work. Pink ghetto can also describe the placement of female managers into positions that will not lead them to the board room, thus giving credence to the "glass ceiling hypothesis."

Pink-collar ghetto was more commonly used in the early years, when women began to work. Pink-collar ghetto became the popular term once it was popularized by Louise Kapp Howe, a writer and social critic. Pink-collar in Pink-collar Crime refers to jobs and employment sectors dominated by women workers. The pink collar ghetto, also known as the velvet ghetto.

The pink collar ghetto, also known as the velvet ghetto, concerns the phenomena of women entering a certain field employment and subsequently the status and pay grade of this profession drops along with the new influx of women workers. Some scholars, such as Elizabeth Toth, claim this is partially the result of women taking technician roles instead of managerial roles, being less likely to negotiate higher pay, and being perceived as putting family life before work. - "Public Relations Field: 'Velvet Ghetto'". Los Angeles Times. 30 November 1986.

Feminism in public relations focuses on gender equality, but new scholarship makes claims that focusing on social justice would better aid feminist cause in the field. This brings the idea of intersectionalism to the pink collar ghetto. The issue is caused by larger societal injustices and interlocking systems of oppression. - Golombisky, Kim (2015). "Renewing the Commitments of Feminist Public Relations Theory From Velvet Ghetto to Social Justice". Journal of Public Relations Research. 27: 389–415.

Women in pink-collar ghetto may also commit Blue-collar Crime, White-Collar Crime, Red-collar crime, Green-collar Crime, Occupational Crime and Conventional Crime. Writers call clerical occupations the pink-collar ghetto because they absorbed so much of the rapidly-expanding female labor force. Women have a preference for traditional pink-collar work and few women have broken out of the pink-collar ghetto. In 1991, for example, 57% of female workers were in the three occupational categories: clerical, sales and service.

13.5% of women were in the specific occupations of stenographers, secretaries and sales clerks,

88% of cashiers  were women,

98% of secretaries  were women,

93% of receptionists  were women and

81% of elementary and kindergarten teachers were women.

Sharon Mastracci, UIC assistant professor of public administration, is the author of a new book, Breaking Out of the Pink Collar Ghetto. 


Anne Brooks Ranallo says vocational training is a viable career alternative for many women who do not attend college.


Sharon Mastracci is the author of a new book, Breaking Out of the Pink Collar Ghetto.


Pink-collar workers fight to leave ghetto - By Carol Kleiman.


You've heard of the blue-collar worker, who usually can be found in manufacturing and trade jobs. But there's also a lesser-known category: the pink-collar worker, who is employed in fields such as teaching, nursing, public relations, human resources, administration, child care and in clerical and secretarial work.


Because pink-collar workers are employed in jobs traditionally dominated by women, there's another name to describe this category, which is The Pink Collar Ghetto. It's estimated that today 55 percent of women working outside of the home are trapped in the pink collar ghetto.


There probably are fewer women in pink collar ghetto today than there were 10 years ago, mainly because women themselves have made the effort to make the change. The phrase 'pink-collar ghetto' was coined in 1983 in a study of women, children and poverty in America and was used to describe the limits on women's career advancement in these traditional, often low-paying jobs.