The Growing Role Women Play in Industries Dominated by Men
For women under the age of 40, it can sometimes be hard to appreciate just how far society has come in terms of promoting women to pursue careers. It wasn’t that long ago that a woman who sought employment in a skilled trade or wished to earn a graduate degree was thought of as defective by those around her. While there are still outliers in terms of people’s thoughts on whether women ought to be allowed to pursue the same careers as men, the prevailing sentiment in today’s world is that women have every right to pursue whichever profession they prefer. What a time to be alive!
Here are five examples of industries traditionally dominated by men which are seeing more and more women doing the work and leading the way:
The stereotypical worker in a manufacturing setting is a grizzled man, but factory floors are being staffed by an increasing number of women with every passing year. This trend is happening in countries across the world. For example, many of the Mexico manufacturing operations undertaken on behalf of foreign companies consists of skilled labor performed by women. The same can be said for the latest generation of tech manufacturing operations in China and other Asian countries. In fact, given the size of most modern electronics and computer parts, women are increasingly preferred for the fact they have smaller hands which are better suited for handling delicate components.
The top law schools across the United States have been reporting increased numbers of female students for quite some time now. In fact, for the first time ever, women make up the majority of U.S. law students. Once completely dominated by men, the makeup of the legal profession has slowly but surely started to balance out between the two sexes. Three women now sit on the U.S. Supreme Court, meanwhile many prosecuting attorneys offices in major American cities are run by women. Most leading law firms make a point to hire a number of female associates, with several women now serving as senior partners of major firms in cities such as New York and Los Angeles.
Similar to the situation in the legal profession, women are now a majority of medical students across the United States. It’s only a matter of time before this swing in demographics carries over to the profession itself.
Hollywood and other capitals of show business around the world are seeing more women rise into leadership roles. Studio heads have started to wake up to the fact women’s voices have been poorly underrepresented in film and television over the last century. Their response, particularly in the wake of the #MeToo Movement, has been to be increasingly receptive to production concepts which revolve around female characters rather than the traditionally male lead. To bring a sense of authenticity and realism to the screen, studios want women behind the camera as well as in front. This means employment opportunities available to women who want to be directors and producers, not just those who want to be performers. And those who are performing are now being given roles with greater depth than the damsel in distress or the mysterious femme fatale.
More and more women are entering jobs in the tech field. Careers in this industry include programmers, developers, database administrators, and web designers. In addition to these IT-related professions, women are finding work in tech by joining onto massive engineering projects, product development teams, and research departments.
Society has come a long way in its view of women in highly skilled careers. With that said, it still has quite a ways to go!