… and compensation, and social pressures, and a dozen other reasons. I know you know that, but it’s worth mentioning because those three factors alone make it sound like getting a job is picking what you like and seeing what’s out there. Almost nobody has their dream job. For many folks, having their dream job wouldn’t pay enough to feed or house them.
I think this is an interesting take. I don’t think that these graphs are some result that needs to be fixed directly. These graphs are symptomatic of a job market in a society that tells kids from an early age “Boys can do this, and girls can do this. These jobs are for both (this last sentence added in 1960).”
It’s not even necessarily as malicious as that makes it sound, either. Electricians: I am an electrical engineer and have seen probably 200 different electricians over the course of my career. Not one was a lady. I haven’t watched TV in a while, but I’d bet representation of electricians there probably reflects that as well (aside from some well-intentioned children’s programming perhaps). It’s very self-perpetuating.
But is it bad? I’m biased as a white-collar worker, but I think the inherent sexism in our society still being only part of the reason women don’t want those jobs; the other part is that they are not really that desirable. Yes, I know, tradespeople are the backbone of our modern society; they keep the water, power, and air moving that makes modern life possible. But if you were going to enter a (possibly only passively, but in many cases probably actively) hostile work environment, wouldn’t you rather it be one that you wouldn’t break your back doing it? I know I would.