Throughout history, the central role of women in our society has assured the progress, stability, and long-term development of nations. During the Second World War, women worked as nurses, repaired airplanes, drove trucks, and built ships to free up men for combat. Fast forward to the present, and we still find women excelling in every field possible.
However, statistically speaking, the labor market is significantly gender-segregated. While some occupations have become increasingly integrated over time, others remain highly dominated by either men or women.
In this article, we are going to take a look at 10 fields where women rule. Economists call these ‘pink-collar fields,’ and while the good news is that the pink-collar economy is rapidly growing, the bad news is the wages are not. Read on to find out more.
Top 10 Professions Dominated By Women
Percentage of Women Employed: 76%
At present, women make up a larger share of educators than they have in decades. According to the U.S. Education Department data, the current trends in the teaching profession in the U.S. show that the field is 76% female (1).
We must keep in mind that this category is extensive and includes preschool, kindergarten, elementary school, middle school, and high school. The average base salary for a teacher these days is $55,100 per year (2).
2. Child Care Services
Percentage of Women Employed: 94%
Child care workers typically work in daycare or other child care centers to attend to the basic needs of children, such as dressing, bathing, feeding, and overseeing play. They may also help children with school prep and homework.
The percentage of female workforce in this field is a whopping 94%. The median pay of a child care worker stands at $23,240 per year (3).
3. Employment Services
Percentage of Women Employed: 72%
Human resources is another field where an overwhelming majority of workers are women. In 2016, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) found that 72% of HR managers were women (4). In 2017, that number increased to 86%.
Despite their prominence in the field, women are still paid less, and male HR managers take home 23% more than their female coworkers.
Percentage of Women Employed: 55%
There is an extraordinary change in veterinary medicine with more number of women stepping in to fill this role. Since pet parents want more for their children than just basic vaccinations and flea control, the demand for vets and those who work with pets in a medical environment has increased drastically.
According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, the current ratio stands at 55% female/45% male in the veterinary market, in both private and public sectors (5). But, here’s the catch: according to the AVMA starting salary calculator, female veterinarians have historically been paid $2,406.97 less than their male counterparts (6).
Percentage of Women Employed: 82%
When we talk about social workers, about 82% of them are female. Women constitute 81.6% of social workers, 69.9% of counselors, and 82.4% of social and human service assistants (7).
However, it is important to note that social work focuses on more than just day-to-day patient assessment. This field is committed to social justice and is comprised of community developers, advocates, and human rights activists as well.
Percentage of Women Employed: 60%
While traditionally seen as a male-dominated profession, accounting has transformed over the years to become more equal. But, this is hardly a new trend. In fact, it goes back to 1983 when women began to gain ground in the profession.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, women made up 39% of the accountants in the U.S workforce in 1983. By 2012, 60% of accountants were women. However, even today, women are vastly underrepresented in upper-level management, leadership, partnership, and committee positions (8).
7. Registered Nurses
Percentage of Women Employed: 92.3%
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 92.3% of registered nurses are female. Nursing has held its value and status as one of the most female-dominated professions out there. This role includes caring for patients, treating them under the supervision of physicians, and advising patients in aftercare.
However, guess who gets paid more in this industry? You guessed it. In nursing, it still pays more to be a man. Male nurses make an average of $84,000 annually, and female nurses make about $80,000 (7).
8. Leisure And Hospitality
Percentage of Women Employed: 55%
According to the National Bureau of Labor Statistics, the hospitality labor workforce in the United States is 55% female (7). While more than half of the hospitality workforce is comprised of women, few have risen to the management level. Women make up only 15% of senior management positions in this industry (9).
9. Pharmaceutical And Medicine Manufacturing
Percentage of Women Employed: 54.6%
Less than two decades ago, fewer than 40% of pharmacists were women. As of 2016, that number has gone up to a solid 54.6%, and more than half of all pharmacists in the U.S are female. The typical pharmacist makes about $121,000.
It is interesting to note that this occupation’s gender wage gap is nearly non-existent. Female pharmacists take home about 97% of what their male counterparts earn (10).
10. Public Relations Services
Percentage of Women Employed: 63%
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, women account for 63% of public relations specialist roles and 59% of PR management positions. While women dominate almost every level of PR, the executive level seems hardly touched by females.
The Organization of American Women in Public Relations came out with a report showing that although women represent two-thirds of the global PR industry, 78% of the CEOs in the top 30 PR agencies worldwide are men, and they also occupy about 62% of seats in the PR boardroom (11).
Despite being more significant in number and increasingly represented in these ten industries, women are still not immune to the gender wage gap. Women’s median annual earnings stubbornly remain about 20% below men’s. It is not even because women choose low-paying jobs. It is actually the other way around. Society values women’s work less even in fields that are dominated by women. Don’t you think it all comes down to the unpleasant reality that work done by women simply isn’t valued as highly?
- “Teacher trends” Institute of Education Sciences, National Center for Education Statistics.
- “The Nation’s Teaching Force Is Still Mostly White and Female” Education Week.
- “Childcare Workers” Bureau of Labor Statistics, United States Department of Labor.
- “Median weekly earnings of full-time wage and salary workers by detailed occupation and sex” Bureau of Labor Statistics, United States Department of Labor.
- “The History of Women in Veterinary Medicine in the U.S.” Today’s Veterinary Practice.
- “Yes, female veterinarians earn less, BUT …” DVM360.
- “Labor Force Statistics from the Current Population Survey” Bureau of Labor Statistics, United States Department of Labor.
- “Gender Roles in Public Accounting and the Absence of Women in Upper Level Management” University of New Hampshire.
- “Women in Hospitality: the state of play” Women in Hospital.
- “Pharmacy and the Evolution of a Family-Friendly Occupation” National Bureau of Economic Research.
- “Women in PR USA Releases Global Gender Pay Gap Annual Survey Results” The Organization of American Women in Public Relations.