ERIC Number: ED339826
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991
Paying for Prejudice: A Report on Midlife and Older Women in America's Labor Force. 1991 Mother's Day Report.
Owens, Christine L.; Koblenz, Esther
Although midlife and older women comprise an increasing portion of the work force, gains in work force participation will not mean a decent living, security, or equal opportunity in the workplace of the future. Several factors influence the wage gap for older women: higher education does not mean higher earnings; women are less likely than men to have union representation; and wage-setting practices have depressed earnings. The work force is segregated by sex, with women, especially older and black, disproportionately concentrated in low wage jobs. Even within female-dominated occupations, men earn more than women and move up the career ladder faster than women. Segregation is not diminishing: comparatively few older women work as managers or professionals. Discrimination plays a significant role in limiting older women's choices and roles in the workplace. Past employment discrimination penalizes older women today. The consequences of workplace segregation result in poverty: older women settle for part-time employment involuntarily and they have fewer benefits. Increased work force participation by older women workers, coupled with the aging of the population, will exacerbate the caregiving responsibilities of midlife and older women. (Sources are listed in alphabetical order by author for each section in which they appear.) (NLA)
Descriptors: Aging (Individuals), Black Employment, Career Ladders, Economic Factors, Employed Women, Equal Opportunities (Jobs), Feminism, Labor Force, Labor Market, Managerial Occupations, Middle Aged Adults, Occupational Clusters, Older Workers, Part Time Employment, Poverty, Professional Occupations, Racial Bias, Salary Wage Differentials, Sex Bias, Sex Discrimination, Unions
Older Women's League, 730 Eleventh Street, N.W., Suite 300, Washington, DC 20001 ($4.00 members; $6.00 nonmembers).
Publication Type: Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Edison Electric Inst., Washington, DC.; American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Older Women's League, Washington, DC.
Note: Also funded by Chevron USA Inc., Peg Yorkin, and United Food and Commercial Workers International Union.