America's most gender-differentiated jobs


#1

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2017/11/14/americas-most-gender-differe.html


#2

Cueing misogynistic comments in 3…2…1…


#3

It doesn’t list Serial Killers and Internet Trolls?


#4

The jobs which are still heavily or largely unionized seem to cluster at the ends of the hourglass.


#5

The accountants line seems to disprove some old myths.


#6

I can only speak to software developers since I teach them as my day job. In my, not inconsiderable, experience female software developers are, as far as their quality or, indeed, style of code are concerned, indistinguishable from software developers of any other gender.

There are, however, much more rare and wherever the reason is it manifests before any level I or any of my colleagues have taught: so well before university and a likely before secondary education, too. A friend holds supplementary programming classes in a local magnet[1] secondary school, and he says that his (voluntary) classes are something like 80% male in a school that’s otherwise 50/50.

It’s… vexing.

[1] Not literally, but it is a good cultural translation.


#7

The occupation ratios that surprised me were software developer and elementary school teacher.

Every software development job I’ve worked at that paid decently and had rational 9-5 hours seemed very close to 50-50 (also tended to be 30-60 year-olds). Silicon Valley and start-ups get all the mind-share, but they’re a comparatively small part of the market.

As for elementary school teachers, the graph lists it at 20%, yet outside of a lone P.E. teacher, it seems to be a pretty much exclusively female occupation around here (15 out of 16 of my kids elementary school teachers were female) And, to be honest, I suspect most of the parents are comfortable with that.


#8

CEO is one of the 50 most commonly held jobs?


#9

Can I really get paid enough to consider those my career?


#10

20% or even higher would be what I would have expected, based on our experience.


#11

Well, more a vocation, I guess :wink:


#12

From my experience, I agree about quality of code being indistinguishable. But more than that, the teams I have worked on with women have just been better in general. Having more gender balance on a software team (that’s really the only kind of professional team I can speak of) brings about a more well-rounded way of discussing and solving problems before any code starts getting done.

So, this is a big problem, not just for gender equality reasons, but also for businesses themselves.

There so are many reasons why there aren’t enough female programmers. But, the only way to solve the problem is to simply hire more of them, and once they are hired, make sure the workplace is welcoming and supportive. The first part is easy. The second part is not.


#13

I’m not discounting your experience, but I haven’t seen that. The places I’ve worked at with rational hours and (relatively) older employees still were 20% or less female.


#14

Generally, gender balance is good for any team, and any community. Which makes sense, if you think about it. We’re born with a, roughly, a 50-50 distribution, modulo people who don’t find themselves at peace in either traditional category, and it makes sense that our brains find the same ratio pleasing.

Agreed.

As for welcoming workplaces, I don’t know much, indeed, I can’t know much, but this, I think, I’ve a fairly firm handle on: we really need to stop asking diversity experts and consultants and the like and start asking the female coders themselves.


#15

I think it’s social, and not just work environment. Working a job outside of what’s typical of your gender is still socially considered weird. For example, going from the other side, being a male nurse is going to get a reaction out of friends, and family. There will be jokes. I’m sure a female programmer is going to have the same social barrier outside a work context.

There’s also the fact that most people don’t want to be the only X person in the group. The single women, the only black guy, the alone, etc. As welcoming as you try to make the work environment, it’s also just going to take a bit of a critical mass. I think I read somewhere that’s the most common reason that women leave. Which is a bit of a catch 22, women join and then leave, never building up the numbers to solve the problem.

edit: Not to downplay general sexism that still exists of course. I’m sure there are still discriminatory hiring practices contributing a lot. I’m just talking about situations where there is significant female interest, industry drive for inclusion, but still a gender difference. I don’t think anyone’s pushing women to be auto mechanics (I imagine would be pretty toxic for women, if they can get in the door), or men to be child care workers (I imagine most places won’t hire men).


#16

No, not so much. Women who are programmers don’t get shit from their female friends, because other women don’t feel threatened by that, while men seem to live in fear that a man taking a coded-female job will result in their own loss-of-prestige-by-association, a sort of devaluing of the currency of masculinity, as it were. The reverse is not true. See also: women wearing pants in public vs men wearing skirts in public.


#17

Roughly about 200k people with that job title in the US in 2013.


#18

That’s a hyperbolic, and entirely unfair over generalization of men’s attitudes toward women in the industry.

Edit: fixing wording


#19

Why is it sexist to conjecture a rationale on a bio-basis as opposed to culture? Spatial vs. Verbal differences are pretty apparent from this chart on the extreme ends. Mechanics need to imagine rotating a part they cannot see, carpenters need to cut and fit wood precisely, versus teachers needing to communicate effectively with large numbers of individuals, secretaries needing to coordinate a great deal of social interactions.

I am not saying that either sex can’t do these things, but the labor market does tend to select towards efficiency. That there are cultural biases seems more an effect after many generations of these careers being tradition. And tech is so new and lucrative, it gets the majority of the news cycle, since those roles haven’t been culturally well defined(other than the dorky neckbeard computer programmer stereotype)


#20

This is an interesting graph, but what I’d really like to see is which of these are changing over time, and how much.