ACA International Study: Women Make Up Majority of Workforce in Collections Industry


Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the U.S. Census on workplace demographics, as well as data from ACA International member companies, shows how collection employee demographics counter stereotypes about the industry.


January 19, 2016 – Washington, DC – ACA International, the association of credit and collection professionals, has released a new whitepaper “Diversity in the Collections Industry: An Overview of the Collections Workforce,” which shows that the credit and collection industry has one of the more diverse workforces in the U.S. 


Using U.S. Census data and information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, ACA found that while women constitute roughly 47 percent of the overall U.S. workforce, women make up 70 percent of the total collections workforce.


As a further testament to the diversity of the industry, racial and ethnic minorities account for 40 percent of the total collections workforce today. Specifically among women, racial and ethnic minorities also account for 40 percent of the total workforce population.


“The stereotypical image of a debt collector couldn’t be further from the truth,” said ACA International Director of Research Josh Adams, PhD. “Women and people of color play a significant and important role at collection agencies nationwide. “


Among ACA member companies, 24 percent report being a minority of women-owned business; and these firms are creating jobs for even more people. According to the whitepaper, in a fall 2015 membership survey conducted by ACA, 95 percent of minority or women-owned firms employed an average of 22 employees. In contrast, The National Women’s Business Council found that, as of 2012, roughly 89 percent of women-owned businesses “[had] no employees other than the owner.”


As an industry that works with consumers from all socioeconomic, social, racial, and ethnic groups, it is important to have a workforce that reflects and represents those groups. The current trends in the industry speak to a level of responsiveness to the evolving consumer environment and an adaptability to meet those needs.


“The data shows that debt collection professionals reflect the diversity of the US consumer population,” said ACA International CEO Patrick J. Morris. “The stereotype of the debt collector portrayed in the media is simply not true, and this is good for the industry as well as the consumer. More diversity in the collection agency workforce means more good ideas on how to fairly and amicably resolve accounts with a diverse consumer base.”


ACA International‘s whitepaper is part of a new research initiative that aims to collect original and meaningful data about the credit and collection industry and to quantify the ways that debt collectors help consumers and the overall economy.


ACA International (ACA), the association of credit and collection professionals, is the largest membership organization in the credit and collection industry. Founded in 1939, ACA brings together third-party collection agencies, law firms, asset buying companies, creditors and vendor affiliates, representing tens of thousands of industry professionals. ACA produces a wide variety of products, services and publications, including educational and compliance-related information; and articulates the value of the credit and collection industry to businesses, policymakers and consumers.