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Trends in the job market: these are female-dominated careers and professions

Trends in the job market: these are female-dominated careers and professions

Artwork by: Alexandra Shevchenko

  • Top 10 female-dominated careers
  • 1. Educators
  • 2. Dental hygienists 
  • 3. Registered nurses 
  • 4. Human resources 
  • 5. Beauty industry
  • 6. Paralegals 
  • 7. Social service workers 
  • 8. Administrative assistants 
  • 9. Veterinarians 
  • 10. Accountants 
  • What industries have the most female leaders?
  • Shifting trends in traditionally male-dominated careers
  • How to succeed as a woman in a male-dominated industry
  • Key takeaways

Women have long been an important part of the workforce, but there are some industries where women completely dominate the roles and positions that are available. In this article, we will learn more about some of the most popular female-dominated careers and the roles women play in them.

Women are an important part of the workforce and roughly 50% of employees are women. This is a stark difference from the early 1940s when only 28 percent of women were working, according to the National Bureau of Economic Research. However, while women make up a huge portion of the overall job market, their entry into various careers and professions isn’t necessarily equal. In fact, there are still many female-dominated careers. 

In this article, we will explore the top female-dominated careers and how they have effective the career paths women choose. Here’s what we’ll look at:

  • Top 10 female-dominated careers

  • What industries have the most female leaders?

  • Employment trends in male-dominated careers

  • How to succeed as a woman in a male-dominated industry

Top 10 female-dominated careers

Ultimately, women can be successful in any industry. But there are some careers and roles that women tend to fill more often. In addition to these roles, certain jobs that were once held mostly by men are also starting to see a shift in the number of women who are entering the industry. If you are a woman who is looking to be successful in their career, choosing a female-dominated career may be a great option.

Some of the most popular female-dominated careers include the following:

1. Educators

Education continues to be a female-dominated industry, with over 75% of public school teachers being women. The majority of those working in this industry have earned at least a Bachelor’s Degree, but those who have post-graduate education have the potential of earning more money.

2. Dental hygienists 

Somewhere between 93% and 96% of all dental hygienists are women. To be successful in this career, you will need an Associate’s Degree, pass the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination, and fulfill any state licensing requirements.

3. Registered nurses 

In general, the healthcare industry tends to be female-dominated. Along with registered nurses, there are more women holding jobs as home health aids, vocational nurses, and medical record technicians than there are men.

4. Human resources 

Over 80% of those working in the Human Resources industry are women. Those in these roles are responsible for managing employees, hiring, training, managing employee benefits, processing and overseeing payroll, and helping businesses comply with labor laws.

5. Beauty industry

Most positions within the beauty industry are held by women. That includes skin care professionals, hair stylists, massage therapists, and other jobs that focus on the beauty of their clients.

6. Paralegals 

Approximately 84% of those working as paralegals or legal assistants are women. To become a paralegal, you will need to complete a paralegal degree program and earn your paralegal certification. You’ll likely need to work with a law firm to complete an internship and then specialize in a specific legal practice as well.

7. Social service workers 

Of the over quarter of a million social workers, just over 80% are women. In this female-dominated field, employees address community needs and challenges while striving to protect vulnerable members of the community.

8. Administrative assistants 

You will find this role in just about any industry, and it is most often held by women. As an administrative assistant, you will be responsible for completing tasks that help organizations and departments function. Unfortunately, the overall number of these roles is diminishing because many of these tasks can be automated.

9. Veterinarians 

At one time, veterinary medicine was a male-dominated role. In today’s world, women now have a slight advantage over men in this industry. However, the pay gap for women versus men in this role has not entirely caught up for women.

10. Accountants 

As far back as the 1980s, it was difficult for women to become successful as an accountant. That has all changed these days because we now have women in about 60% of all accounting roles. Management and leadership roles are still lacking female employees, however.

What industries have the most female leaders?

One challenge women often face in the workplace is achieving levels of management. Even in industries that are female-dominated, you often find more men in management positions than you do women. However, there are some industries where this is not the case. Here are a few examples. 

  • Education 

Some of the leadership roles in the education industry where you see women the most often include principals, department heads, and administrative leaders.

  • Healthcare

While doctors and surgeons tend to be roles men dominate, other roles of leadership within the healthcare industry are more likely to be held by women.

  • Financial services

Women in management and C-suite positions in banks and financial organizations have been on the rise as of late, and the number of women in leadership roles in the finance industry is expected to grow even more in the future.

  • Hospitality

Leadership members in the hospitality industry are responsible for overseeing many areas in hotels, restaurants, spas, and other similar organizations, including food services and customer service.

Shifting trends in traditionally male-dominated careers

In many industries, the gap between male-held roles and women-held roles has been shrinking in recent years. Here’s what’s happening in some of the industries that have traditionally been male-dominated.

  • Once a male-dominated field, insurance agents have seen a small shift in the number of women versus men who work in the industry. Just slightly over 50% of all insurance agents are now women.

  • At one time, men held nearly all of the sales agents' positions. These days, the number of women who sell ads to businesses and perform sales work is on the rise. From 2010 to 2020, the percentage of women in this field grew by 6.2%, and women currently hold around 64% of all sales agents’ positions.

  • Women who are pursuing careers as artists and jobs in creative industries are also on the rise as are journalists and reporters.

  • Another once male-dominated industry that is seeing huge growth in the number of female employees is the compliance industry. Compliance officers, who work for the government on state, federal, and local levels, ensure regulations are being upheld.

  • The number of judges, mediators, and magistrates who are women is also on the rise and is quickly becoming a female-dominated career, which is great considering it’s one of the highest-paid positions available for women.

How to succeed as a woman in a male-dominated industry

As a woman, choosing a female-dominated career is a great option, but it isn’t for everyone. Just because an industry may tend to have more roles for men doesn’t mean a woman can’t be successful in that industry. If you are choosing to enter a male-dominated industry, here are some of the characteristics you should have to be successful.

  • Confidence Don’t back down from making sure your voice is heard and stand up to people who undermine or dismiss your thoughts and ideas.

  • Drive to learn Knowledge is power in any industry, but it can especially help you if you are working in a male-dominated industry. Being more knowledgeable about the industry than your co-workers not only sets you up for success but could help you enter management positions.

  • Leadership Don’t be afraid to step out and be a leader on projects instead of sitting back and following others' lead. This allows you to put more of your skills on display so that you can be successful.

  • Supportive To make an industry more favorable toward women, it is important to support the other women in your industry and those you work with.

  • Good with conflict Regardless of what industry you work in, there will be conflicts from time to time. Learning how to handle that conflict the right way can help you become a leader in the industry and can earn you respect from your peers and management team.

If you are looking for careers that offer a good salary, we can help you narrow down your options. Stop by our website to check out our Salary Analyzer today.

Key takeaways

  1. The number of female-dominated careers available is on the rise thanks in part to the increased number of women who have entered the workforce since the 1940s.

  2. Some of the most common female-dominated careers are in the education, healthcare, and human resources industries.

  3. Women who are seeking leadership roles may find more success in the financial and education sectors.

  4. Many once male-dominated roles are shifting to having more women employees and leaders than in years past, and women are finding ways to become more successful in male-dominated industries.

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