Sociology Index


Blue-collar Crime, Pink-collar ghetto

The term pink-collar crime was coined by Kathleen Daly during the 1980s to describe embezzlement type crimes that typically were committed by females based on limited opportunity. She is a pink-collar criminal. The term “pink-collar crime” was coined describe the growing number of low and mid-level female office workers like bookkeepers, office managers, and clerks who steal from their employers. Women were more likely to have committed low level pink-collar crimes such as check kiting and book-keeping fraud from positions of less power compared to men who engaged in acts of White-Collar Crime. The Pink-Collar crimes are on the rise as compared to other types like white collar crimes, red collar crimes and green collar crimes.

The term Pink-collar in pink-collar crime denotes jobs and employment sectors dominated by women workers. Freda Adler argues that opportunity is central to understanding the involvement of women in white-collar crime: There is no masculinization. Women have broken the glass-ceiling because the doors have been opened. They use the same tactics as men. These are human characteristics not male or female, they are not gender issues in science. Women are making a lot of money now and it will only increase as their opportunity increases. They too will take advantage of the opportunity to go further cut corners, make more money as it presents itself, legal and illegal. They are driven by the same factors and motivations as men.

The phrase pink collar was used in order to distinguish certain jobs from white collar jobs, and also to distinguish women in these roles from other white-collar workers. Pink collar work did not require much professional training and did not offer equal pay or prestige. Pink collar positions have increased as more and more women enter the workforce. Industrialization has increased the scope for the services provided by pink collar workers.

Gender in White-Collar Crime: An Empirical Study of Pink-Collar Criminals. - Petter Gottschalk, Lars Glaso.
Abstract: This article is based on a sample of 255 convicted white-collar criminals in Norway from 2009 to 2012. Only 20 out of 255 white-collar criminals presented in Norwegian newspapers in the years from 2009 to 2012 were women. In the popular press, white-collar crime committed by women is sometimes labeled pink-collar crime. A number of reasons for this gender discrepance are discussed. Women’s access to organizational power structures is rising, but remains still limited. This is in line with opportunity theory. Women may have a greater sense of risk aversion rather than risk willingness, and women may more easily be perceived as victims of crime.