It’s no secret that women still face difficulty breaking through the workplace glass ceiling in certain industries, while men continue to dominate certain career paths. It’s evidence that although our society is progressing in gender equality and inclusivity, some careers are still male-dominated. Here, we’re going to take a look at exactly which professions consist of more working men than women, and why this is the case.
History of Male Dominance in Certain Professions
Traditionally, men have been seen as the breadwinners of any family, with women’s place being in the home. Throughout history, women have been kept from taking the same jobs as men due to misogynistic beliefs and policies, as well as religious regulations. This has since changed, and although women now make up a larger percentage of the US workforce than ever, there are still certain industries that remain dominated by men.
Explanations for Male-Dominated Professions
To understand why certain professions continue to be male-dominated, it’s important to look at the underlying issues still facing women today. For example, there is still a gender pay gap across the majority of professions, with men typically earning more than women in the same roles – making certain professions less appealing to women. Additionally, there are still certain barriers women face when trying to break into industries like engineering and science. These include a lack of mentors, fewer recruiting offers from universities, fewer advanced classes, and a lack of support from management.
Top 10 Careers That Are Male Dominated
Construction: The construction industry is still largely male-dominated, with 76 percent of workers being men. This is largely due to the nature of the work itself being more physically demanding, and requiring a larger physical presence. This can create a sense of intimidation and make it a less welcoming industry for women.
Automotive: The automotive industry is another male-dominated career path, with 77 percent of workers being men. This is mainly due to the historical perceptions of men being more mechanically inclined than women, which can be off-putting to women looking to enter this industry.
Technology: The technology industry is heavily male-dominated, with the male-female split being 68-32. This is largely due to the lack of female visibility in the industry and the reputational myth that technology is a “boy’s club.”
Engineering: Engineering is a traditionally male-dominated career field, with 87 percent of workers being men. This is largely due to the higher STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) barriers for entry, as well as the fact that the engineering industry has few female leaders to look up to.
Finance :The finance industry is another area where men still tend to dominate, with 77 percent of workers being men. This can be due to the fact that finance has traditionally been viewed as a masculine industry that rewards risk-taking, which is generally associated more with men than women.
Manufacturing :Manufacturing is a male-dominated career path, with 83 percent of workers being men. This is due to a variety of factors, such as the fact that the industry is physically demanding, pay is lower compared to some of the other male-dominated fields, and there are few female mentors to help guide women.
Mining :Mining is another male-dominated career field, with 90 percent of workers being men. This is mainly due to the physical nature of the job and the lack of safety standards that make it difficult for women to work in the same conditions as men.
Law enforcement is a heavily male-dominated profession, with 84 percent of workers being men. This is largely due to the fact that the roles can be physically demanding, and due to the historical notion that men are typically better suited for the job.
Firefighting :Firefighting is a career field dominated by men, with 91 percent of workers being male. This is due to the highly-physical nature of the job, as well as the high level of stress and danger – both of which can make it less appealing to women.
The marine industry is one of the most male-dominated fields, with 87 percent of workers being men. This is mainly due to the fact that it is a physically demanding job, and women are not often recruited for these positions due to the fear of not being able to keep up.
Benefits of Increasing Gender Equality in Male-Dominated Professions
Despite the persistent gender gap in certain professions, there are many benefits to increasing diversity and inclusion in traditionally male-dominated fields. Not only can this create a healthier, more equal working environment and increase wages for women, but it also has a direct effect on the overall economy. A recent study from the IMF showed that women’s labor force participation has the potential to increase global Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by 5 percent, meaning that if more women were in traditionally male-dominated professions, there would be a major economic boost.
Challenges of Increasing Gender Equality in Male-Dominated Professions
However, the prospect of equal representation in male-dominated professions isn’t without its challenges. For one, there is still a general lack of awareness and understanding when it comes to female-friendly working environments, making it difficult to attract and retain diverse talent. Additionally, there is a lack of well-structured recruitment and retention policies, as well as a lack of support at the leadership level – meaning that even if a female is hired, she may not have the necessary resources to find success in her career.
While it is important to acknowledge that certain professions remain male-dominated, it is also important to discuss why this may be the case and what we can do to make these professions more open to women. Women should not be discouraged from pursuing any career of their choosing, regardless of the gender gap – and there are many benefits to creating an environment of equality in male-dominated professions. With better support from employers and policy makers, we can start to create an environment that allows every individual to achieve their career goals, regardless of their gender.