Role of Women
The history of women and minority races in the American labor force has been shaped by various ethno-racial, demographic, legal, and cultural influences. Like other major groups, women and other minorities during preindustrial period contributed to the economy of their communities through unpaid and paid labor. However, the material rewards of their effort were restricted by laws, social practices, and cultural beliefs that lowered them to other groups. In the late 20th century, women and minority races fought for improved working conditions and better jobs through the second-wave feminism and civil rights movement.
Women have always been in charge for household work, and like minority races in the workforce, they have also been paid lower wages than men. In the recent years, however, women have comprised 50 percent of all workforce in the high-paying professional, management, and related professions in the United States (U.S. DOL, 2005). They outnumbered men in various professions such as health and medical services managers; auditors and accountants; financial managers; school teachers; etc. Minority races are also more expected to be in service occupations, given the positive impact they bring to large consumer bases.
Businesses that diversify their labor forces are likely to have a unique competitive advantage over those that do not. Accordingly, women have roughly comprised 46 percent of the United States’ entire workforce, and are expected to constitute 47 percent of the sector in 2014 (U.S. DOL, 2005). Although women appear popular in several fields of work, this is merely an adjustment from past generations when most women were not allowed to participate in the workforce. Likewise, minority workforce is expected to increase by 34 percent from 2004 to 2014 (NAS Recruitment Communications, 2008).
Even though women and minority races had made occupational achievements, yet they generally continued to receive wages lesser than men of comparable experience and education. Unfortunately, despite State and federal endeavors to provide both women and minority races with labor protections, development of managerial and economically successful women and minorities in most cases are still continually suppressed by unformulated pattern of prejudices.
NAS Recruitment Communications. (2008). Diversity Recruitment. Retrieved May 26, 2009, from http://www.nasrecruitment.com/Microsites/Diversity/articles/featureD16.html
U.S. Department of Labor. (2005, November). Women in the Labor Force in 2005. Retrieved May 26, 2009, from http://www.dol.gov/wb/factsheets/Qf-laborforce-05.htm