Humanities › History & Culture What is a Pink-Collar Ghetto? Share Flipboard Email Print Bert Hardy Advertising Archive/Getty Images History & Culture Women's History History Of Feminism Important Figures Key Events Women's Suffrage Women & War Laws & Womens Rights Feminism & Pop Culture Feminist Texts American History African American History African History Ancient History and Culture Asian History European History Genealogy Inventions Latin American History Medieval & Renaissance History Military History The 20th Century View More By Linda Napikoski Journalist J.D., Hofstra University B.A., English and Print Journalism, University of Southern California Linda Napikoski, J.D., is a journalist and activist specializing in feminism and global human rights. our editorial process Linda Napikoski Updated March 18, 2017 The term “pink-collar ghetto” means that many women are stuck in certain jobs, mostly low-paying jobs, and usually because of their sex. “Ghetto” is used figuratively to evoke an area where people are marginalized, often for economic and social reasons. “Pink-collar” denotes jobs historically held only by women (maid, secretary, waitress, etc.) The Pink-Collar Ghetto The Women’s Liberation Movement brought about many changes for the acceptance of women in the workplace throughout the 1970s. However, sociologists still observed a pink-collar workforce, and women still did not earn as much as men overall. The term pink-collar ghetto reflected this discrepancy and revealed one of the major ways women were at a disadvantage in society. Pink-Collar vs. Blue-Collar Jobs Sociologists and feminist theorists who wrote about the pink-collar workforce observed that pink-collar jobs often required less education and paid less than white-collar office jobs, but also paid less than blue-collar jobs typically held by men. The blue-collar jobs (construction, mining, manufacturing, etc.) required less formal education than white-collar jobs, but the men who held blue-collar jobs were often unionized and tended to receive better pay than the women stuck in the pink-collar ghetto. The Feminization of Poverty The phrase was used in a 1983 work by Karin Stallard, Barbara Ehrenreich and Holly Sklar called Poverty in the American Dream: Women and Children First. The authors analyzed the "feminization of poverty" and the fact that the increased number of women in the workforce were largely working the same jobs as they had since the previous century.