Racial Inequality in the Workplace

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RACIAL INEQUALITY IN THE WORKPLACE After completing their education, minorities suffer from further inequalities in the workplace. Evidence of a wage-gap, for instance, is evident in managerial positions. “For every dollar white male managers in the private sector earn, white women managers earn 59 cents, men-of-color managers earn 75 cents, and women of color, on average, earn 57 cents (Giscombe S9).” Fortunately, a decrease in the wage gap has occurred, and affirmative action has been a major catalyst. For instance, between the 1980’s and 1990’s, the “wage gaps deteriorated by 2.5 percentage points for blacks, by 4.1 percentage points for Native Americans, and by less than 1 point percentage point for Hispanics and Asians, (Leonard).” This is low compared to women, whose average wage-gap “declined by 7.6 percentage points” (Leonard). Even though the gap did not decrease dramatically, it shows a slight improvement that may reach greater proportions in years to come. Furthermore, the low number of minorities in high-management jobs confirms that affirmative action is needed. “White men are 48% of the college-educated work force, but hold over 90% of the top jobs in news media; over 90% of officers of American corporations and 88% of the directors; 86 percent of partners in major law firms; 85% of tenured college professorships; and 80% of the management level jobs in advertising, marketing and public relations (Trinh 30).” Fortunately though, “by 1994, 5.3% of blacks, 3.2% of Hispanics, and 2% of Asian Americans held managerial positions, compared with less than 1% for each group in 1966 (Chen 40).” Clearly, affirmative action has assisted in the increase of minorities to managerial positions. There are many opinions held about affirmative action. For instance, Maria Ventura (Filipina administrative assistant in the Asian-American Studies center at UCLA) “I believe

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