Abstract

Holdsworth C, Dale A. Ethnic differences in women's employment. Work Employment and Society 1997; 11 (3): 435-457.

This paper uses the 1 per cent household file from the Samples of Anonymised Records (SARs) for the 1991 Census and the ONS Longitudinal Study (LS) to explore variations in patterns of employment and occupational attainment among women from different ethnic groups. The analysis of the SARs focuses on the impact of lifecycle events on women's employment status and economic activity. The presence of a partner is identified as having the greatest impact on Pakistani and Bangladeshi women's employment, while the presence of a pre-school child is most significant for White women's economic activity. White women also have a higher rate of part-time working than all other ethnic groups. These patterns are formalised in two models, one for economic activity and a second for full- time/part-time work. The LS is used to investigate the impact of these employment patterns on women's occupational attainment over a ten-year period. The analysis demonstrates that, while minority ethnic women in nonmanual occupations have similar longitudinal occupational profiles to White women, those in manual occupations fare worse than their White counterparts, despite the fact that a larger propotion of minority ethnic women are in full-time employment.