Women of Color Make Private Sector Gains

A new government study found that women of color make up 14.5 percent of private sector employees, a 33 percent increase from 11 percent in 1990. However, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) study notes, these women are still heavily concentrated in traditionally lower-paying office and clerical jobs. “We see some stubborn patterns needing our attention,” said EEOC chair Carol M. Domnguez. “Too many women of color are concentrated in certain industries and seem to have plateaued in lower occupational categories.”

For example, the industry employing the most African-American women is nursing and residential care. In addition, though the number of African-American women serving in management positions grew 75 percent, they are still only 3 percent of all managers. The number of Hispanic women grew the most in the past decade, more than doubling, but these women are still concentrated in food services and the accommodation industries.

However, as minority women in general make some gains in the workplace, the number of minorities working in local television and radio news has decreased while the number of women has increased slightly, according to an annual study by RTNDA/Ball State University. Minorities now hold 18.1 percent of local television news positions, compared with 20.6 percent last year, and they only hold 6.5 percent of radio positions, down from 8 percent. Minority television news directors also dropped from 9.2 percent to 6.6 percent. Women now hold a record 26.4 percent of TV news director positions, according to the survey.

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EEOC survey 7/31/03; Associated Press 7/31/03; RTNDA press release 8/1/03

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