Pink Collar Jobs

Understanding and appreciating the significance of pink collar jobs is crucial for HR professionals and employers so that they can hire and retain top talents in the competitive industry. 

What Are Pink Collar Jobs?

Pink collar jobs refer to occupations historically associated with women, often found in industries such as healthcare, education, and administrative support. These roles are characterised by their service-oriented nature, emphasising interpersonal skills as well as nurturing qualities. 

While the term initially carried gender implications, it has evolved to encompass any profession prioritising qualities traditionally associated with women.

A Brief History Of How The Term Pink Collar Jobs Emerged

Women used to not assume any working position until the 1940s after the Second World War. 

William J. Baumol, a sociologist, first coined the term “pink collar worker” in the 1960s and it was later published by Louise Kapp Howe, a writer who specialised on social issues in the 1970s. Howe used the term to refer to jobs that were occupied by women during that time, namely teachers, nurses, and secretaries. 

The Difference Between Pink, White, Blue, and Purple Collar Jobs

Understanding the distinction between pink, white, and blue collar jobs is essential for HR professionals. 

  • Blue collar jobs involve manual labour and are often associated with industries like manufacturing and construction. 
  • White collar jobs, on the other hand, involve professional and administrative work, typically performed in an office setting. 
  • Pink collar jobs bridge the gap, emphasising service-oriented roles where interpersonal skills and empathy play a crucial role.
  • Purple collar jobs are a blend of white and blue collars where the principally white collar worker regularly performs blue collar tasks. Examples include engineers and technicians. 

Examples Of Pink Collar Jobs 

Below are some examples of pink collar jobs. To this day, these jobs may still be predominantly occupied by women, highlighting interpersonal skills and nurturing qualities: 


  • Nurses: Nurses play a pivotal role in patient care, administering treatments, and providing emotional support.
  • Medical Assistants: Involved in both administrative tasks and patient care, medical assistants are essential in healthcare settings.


  • Teachers: From preschool to higher education, teachers contribute significantly to the intellectual and emotional development of students.
  • School Counsellors: These professionals guide students through academic and personal challenges, offering support and guidance.

Do Pink Collar Jobs Still Exist Today?

Using the term “pink collar jobs” or “pink collar worker” may be considered outdated, and, in times, even promote stereotypes. But, despite societal changes, many jobs are still predominantly occupied by women. 

However, evolving gender norms have led to increased male participation in traditionally female-dominated professions, breaking down stereotypes associated with pink collar jobs.

Talent Acquisition Best Practices 

If you have pink collar roles in your organisation and wish to hire and retain top talents, the following practices may help:

Be Inclusive

To overcome historical gender biases associated with pink collar jobs, focus on inclusive hiring practices. Ensure that job descriptions are gender-neutral and promote a workplace culture that values diversity.

Use inclusive outreach strategies

Broaden the reach of your recruitment efforts through inclusive outreach strategies. Engage with a diverse range of communities and organisations to ensure that your job opportunities are visible to a wide array of candidates. This proactive approach not only helps in attracting diverse talent but also demonstrates a commitment to inclusivity.

Have a diverse hiring panel 

When conducting interviews for pink collar positions, assemble diverse hiring panels. A mix of perspectives contributes to fair and unbiased assessments of candidates, helping to break down stereotypes and challenge preconceived notions associated with certain professions. A diverse hiring team can also better understand the varied skills and experiences that candidates from different backgrounds bring to the table.

Provide professional development opportunities

Offer professional development opportunities for employees in pink collar roles. This not only helps in retaining talent but also enhances the overall quality of service provided by these professionals.

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