America's most gender-differentiated jobs


Yeah, there’s definitely a margarita glass vs fancy chalice here.


The statement was that unionized jobs tend to be at the ends, not that the ends tend to be unionized jobs.

If I had to posit, I’d say that’s probably because the jobs at the end tend to be lower pay/prestige, and more homogenous in general when the labor movement started (he said with no evidence whatsoever).


And yet we hear these stories from women in the industry all the time. So either they are all lying “for the attention” or there is a problem in the industry.


Uh, no. People make up the labor market. People making firing, hiring, and recruiting decisions. Stop pretending that these problems don’t exist or are only because of some magical force called “the market.” It doesn’t exist except within the actions that people take with regards to labor.


And often times, people are pushed out of these fields (often early on) because of ingrained prejudice that forces them out.

Yes. Also, have an active campaign to stop people being sexist and racist would help.


It said “postsecondary teachers”-- and academia, as we know, is completely fucked from a labor perspective.




I am a bit privileged in the job hunt regard, I am a civil engineer that prefers field jobs, and literally have my dream job, so I can see how that would skew my take. Working with all the trades, maybe 1:20 women to men I see, (yet to meet a woman electrician myself), and I can concur that this is tilted even further for the most physically taxing jobs. All I can say is that trying to pin the “blame” on culture denies the real biological sexual dimorphism of our species. It is easier for men to lift heavy things than women, in general. Not saying Rhonda Roussy couldn’t beat me up or that nurses have to lug human bodies day in, day out. I would also state that men are at a competitive disadvantage with jobs that require nuanced communication skills. To make another broad generalization in line with your back braking labor point, people tend to go for the easiest jobs they can get with the best compensation. Sure there are hostile work environments out there, and gender normative roles projected on children, but these to me seem symptoms of underlying differences. We can work against things like unfair hiring or education practices, harassment in the workplace, stereotyping, but would it change the ratio of people who gravitate to either end of this spectrum? I contend the change would be minimal.


I’m the CEO of my company! I’m also the janitor, the salesperson, and the senior developer.


I’m really not seeing that trend either. The only unionized job near the “mostly women” end of the spectrum is Registered Nurses. Educators (the most common unionized profession in the US) seem to be spread out across the entire curve.

I’m a postsecondary teacher. Our wages and benefits may be shit, but most of us are represented by either the AFT or NEA (at least at public institutions).


Culture is the blame.


Interesting language here. I would say most prejudice is learned, even if it is only the common effect of people disliking any out-group. In the case of men seeking jobs in the female dominated fields, would you agree that there is also prejudice?


Learned things can become ingrained.

In that jobs that tend to be lower pay are generally historically relegated to women, yes. And once men join those fields, the prestige factor goes up and the pay goes up. Men are also negatively impacted by misogyny, because those who “act like” women are considered unmanly.


You’re right that it is complex to come up with this sort of summary statistic. I actually think this graph is pretty-much worthless. The issues around job titles make it little more than anecdotal.


@lolipop_jones just wanted to make a fact-free dig at unions.

The facts being that the only heavily unionized jobs left in the country are public sector. Most of the trades have been pretty thoroughly de-unionized- for example, only 16% of carpenters belong to a union.

In general, ~11% of male workers belong to a union, compared to ~10% of women.


Considering that very, very few jobs have “maximum dead lift/squat/bench” as a field on the job application, I really don’t see how that would affect hiring practices. Yeah, there is the “can you lift more than 50 pounds” question, but consider the percentage of women who can do that (many, many able-bodied women), and the percentage who are in the trades. I don’t see a correlation there at all.

I can see what you’re going for here, but there’s the obvious points of men dominating the history of politics, medicine, religion, business… pretty much everything but dealing with non-administrative aspects of education (children, “women’s work”) , and nursing (long seen as the “doctor’s helper”). It’s pretty clear to me that this is a selection by prestige, not communication skills.

Exactly. Completely agreed here. Being the individual force of change in an entire field is hard, and if you’re going to do something hard you might as well do something that pays well too.


I would at least contend that nurses make more than construction workers, and secretaries more than landscapers. And that chart above shows parity for fields with more prestige, like doctor/lawyer, which are slowly changing from male dominated fields. And don’t get me started on equal pay for equal work, I heartily agree that there are still major problems with this issue.

But I think you really aren’t addressing my original point at all. There are well defined biological differences between sexes, and we can point to the individual evils in our world, while ignoring the differences that cause them. The testosterone that allows a man to more easily carry an 80 lb sack of concrete is the same testosterone that makes a rapist aggressive. Cultural problems are something we can work on through education and law. But we aren’t going to make it any easier for a woman to unload a pallet faster than a man in order to move those microwave ovens and make money. Maybe our robot overlords will help. Mechanization made it possible for women to move into fields that used to be exclusively strength dominated. Watching construction workers fumble with phones is downright comical enough to wish for a world where men are forced to participate on an equal basis 50%/50% with secretaries. Just for humor value.


Now. They got paid much less when it was only women in the field. And by the way, rarely could women become doctors until relatively recent.

It’s irrelevant, is why I’m not addressing your original point. It’s a cover for misogyny and discrimination.


Welcome to boing boing, comrade; I gather you are enjoying yourself, yes?


My partner worked over a decade teaching severely disabled folks ages ~13-21, which routinely required her to restrain individuals up to 300+ lbs. who feel little-to-no inhibition using their entire physical faculties. The state required her to have regular retraining and certification, often annually, in various restraint techniques and de-escalation tactics. The field is highly skewed to women, and it requires at least as much strength as any trade.