Minority Women in Poverty

Minority Women in Poverty

Minority Women in Poverty

Minority Women in Poverty

Before the Covid-19 pandemic, the United States labor market experienced a decade of continuous job growth. The overall rate of unemployment fell to its lowest levels in the last 5 decades. Nonetheless, minority groups, and particularly women, still face more challenges when trying to secure a job, not to mention a well-paying one. As compared to their white counterparts, women of color have systematically faced higher rates of unemployment, less job opportunities, poor benefits, low salaries, and higher job instability (McLemore et al, 2018). Minority women include Latino-Americans, African Americans, Indian-American, and Asian women. These women mostly stand at the intersection of a number of barriers and experience the combined impacts of ethnic, racial, gender, and other types of discrimination in their effort to navigate the institutional structures and labor systems where entrenched racial differences remain the norm. 

Often, minority women are disadvantaged by negative attitudes and stereotypes held by employers and senior managers which impacts the decisions on whether they are hired or not. Negative attitudes also affect how women of color are treated at work. Deep rooted stereotypes and cultural attitudes regarding women of color often devalue the productivity of these women and deprioritize their need for job motivation and satisfaction (McLemore et al, 2018). Some of the commonly held stereotypes about women of color depict African American women as aggressive, loud, and uncontrollable.  Latin-American women are perceived to be hypersexualized and pose a threat of maternity leaves. Asian women are seen to be ever agreeable, submissive, and incapable of leadership, invisible, cute, and small. Native American women are also seen as invisible and are overlooked for various leadership opportunities. According to a research done by Washington and Roberts (2019), women of color are confident, ambitious, determined, and have a great desire to excel in their place of work. However, they lack managers and employers who understand their struggles and can assist them to overcome the challenges that prevent them from achieving their best. Due to lack of supportive work environments, women of color are laid off or quit their jobs leading high unemployment rates among them.  

Minority Women in Poverty

Most companies fail to understand that having organizational policies that prohibit biasness and discrimination is one thing while have an employer who is truly supportive is another. Managers can help the high unemployment rates among women of color in various ways (Flores, 2018). First, they should make the first move in social situation by engaging then in conversations and in the decision making process. Secondly, they should give credit where it is deserved. Employees should be rewarded and promoted according to their skills and work experience and not based on their sex or color. More so, employees who do well in various projects should be recognized regardless of their sex or color. Thirdly, managers should not shy away from giving candid feedback during projects (Flores, 2018). Fourthly, managers should check for bias during hiring. Lastly, managers should use exit interviews so as to get feedback from people who wish to quit. Most women of color quit because the working environment was not conducive which and their reasons can help managers improve the workplace. 

Childcare is a basic need for all children. However, most of the minority women who are the caregivers live in low-income, are undervalued in their places of work, and are invisible for promotions. Presently, most women of color with young children have to make difficult choices between using a considerable amount of their low income on childcare, find cheaper but generally lower-quality care options, or leave their work to become full-time caregivers (Schochet, 2019). In most cases, women of color cannot afford to pay hired help to look after their small children. Nonetheless, leaving the children on their own or under the care of younger siblings is not also an option. Most minority families have found themselves in trouble with children care services because they were reported of leaving their children seemingly unattended at home. Most parents have lost custody of their children on charges related to neglect yet these women have to work to take care of their families. 

Minority Women in Poverty

As a result, child care problems have become a significant barrier to work among minority women. According to a survey conducted in 2018 by the Center for American Progress, women of color reported higher rates of experiencing the negative effects of child care as compared to men of any race and white women (Schochet, 2019). More often women of color have been forced to make employment decision based on the most favorable child care options as compared to their financial situations, personal interests, and career goals. Presently, there is a growing awareness regarding the correlation between parental employment, child care, and economic growth (Schochet, 2019). While companies rely on the reliability of employees, most minority women with young children rely on the available child care options. When challenges with child care occur, these women must struggle to find other options as soon as possible or miss work. This means that apart from poor salaries and benefits, minority women also have to suffer from pay cuts, working lessor hours, or staying unemployed altogether. 

Minority Women in Poverty

References

Flores, C. (2018). Spotlight on Women of Color in STEM. Industrial and Organizational Psychology11(2), 291-296.

McLemore, M. R., Altman, M. R., Cooper, N., Williams, S., Rand, L., & Franck, L. (2018). Health care experiences of pregnant, birthing and postnatal women of color at risk for preterm birth. Social Science & Medicine201, 127-135.

Schochet, L., (2019). The Child Care Crisis Is Keeping Women Out of the Workforce. Center for American Progress.Retrieved from https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/early-childhood/reports/2019/03/28/467488/child-care-crisis-keeping-women-workforce/

Washington, Z., & Roberts, L., (2019). Women of Color Get Less Support at Work. Here’s How Managers Can Change That.  Harvard Business Review. Retrieved from https://hbr.org/2019/03/women-of-color-get-less-support-at-work-heres-how-managers-can-change-that

Minority Women in Poverty

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