Women and Workplace Discrimination: Overcoming Barriers to Gender Equality

By Raymond F. Gregory | Go to book overview

Seven
Discrimination against
Women of Color
For years before many white women left the home for the workplace, African American women worked outside the home, first as slaves and later as domestic servants. While only 37 percent of white women were paid employees as recently as 1960, 83 percent of African American women were in the workforce, nearly one-half as maids and servants. 1 Although far fewer African American women are currently employed as servants, a large number are stilled relegated to low-paying jobs.From one perspective, African American women suffer the same types of workplace discrimination as African American men:
• Both groups are less likely than white workers to be promoted, and when they are promoted, they are more likely to have waited longer for their promotions.
• Both groups are more likely to receive lower performance evaluations.
• Both groups are paid less than their white co-workers.
• Both groups are generally excluded from executive and other high-paying positions, and few ever achieve senior management positions.

But from other perspectives, African American women are treated even more adversely than African American men. Historically, they have been paid less than either white men or white women and, as disclosed by Bureau of Census 2000 statistics, they are also paid less than African American men. The median weekly income for white men in 1999 was $638; for African American men, $488; for white women, $483; and for African American women, $409. 2

-60-

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