10 Industries Where Women Rule

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By Selena Dehne, JIST Publishing

Move over men ... women are becoming the major force in the job market. According to a recent report by the U.S. Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics, women now earn the majority of degrees in many fields that men used to dominate.

Although women have traditionally led the fields of education and psychology, their dominance in fields such as business, history and biological and social sciences comes as a surprise in a typically male-driven job market. Even in fields they do not currently dominate, such as math and agriculture, women are making significant strides.

Best Fields with an Above-Average Percentage of Women


1. Healthcare

Percent Women: 78.0 percent

Annual Earnings: $32,149

Percent Growth: 27.3 percent

Workforce Increase: 3,563,998


2. Employment Services

Percent Women: 57.4 percent

Annual Earnings: $21,320

Percent Growth: 45.5 percent

Workforce Increase: 1,579,900


3. Educational Services

Percent Women: 69.0 percent

Annual Earnings: $36,370

Percent Growth: 16.6 percent

Workforce Increase: 2,121,165


4. Social Assistance, Except Child Day Care

Percent Women: 73.8 percent

Annual Earnings: $22,979

Percent Growth: 32.6 percent

Workforce Increase: 444,700


5. Pharmaceutical and Medicine Manufacturing

Percent Women: 46.3 percent

Annual Earnings: $44,420

Percent Growth: 26.1 percent

Workforce Increase: 76,000


6. Advertising and Public Relations Services

Percent Women: 52.3 percent

Annual Earnings: $38,370

Percent Growth: 22.4 percent

Workforce Increase: 95,200


7. Child Day Care Services

Percent Women: 95.8 percent

Annual Earnings: $18,400

Percent Growth: 38.4 percent

Workforce Increase: 294,800


8. Insurance

Percent Women: 60.9 percent

Annual Earnings: $38,590

Percent Growth: 9.5 percent

Workforce Increase: 215,400


9. Hotels and Other Accommodations

Percent Women: 57.0 percent

Annual Earnings: $18,840

Percent Growth: 16.9 percent

Workforce Increase: 304,200


10. Advocacy, Grantmaking and Civic Organizations

Percent Women: 66.9 percent

Annual Earnings: $28,007

Percent Growth: 14.5 percent

Workforce Increase: 178,800


(Excerpt from '40 Best Fields for Your Career' by Michael Farr and Laurence Shatkin, Ph.D.)

Michael Farr and Laurence Shatkin, Ph.D., authors of '40 Best Fields for Your Career,' (Jist) suggest the progress of women in the job market may be attributed to the idea that "men have had more problems than women in adapting to an economy dominated by service and information-based fields."

"Many women may simply be better prepared for these fields, possessing more appropriate skills for the fields that are now growing rapidly and have more job openings," they write.

Although the U.S. Department of Labor still expects men to dominate just over half of the job market in 2014, it believes the roles of women in the workforce will grow more rapidly than men.

"The male labor force is projected to grow by 9.1 percent from 2004 to 2014, compared with 10.9 percent for women. As a result, men's share of the labor force is expected to decrease from 53.6 to 53.2 percent, while women's share is expected to increase from 46.4 to 46.8 percent," states a report by the U.S. Department of Labor.

Farr and Shatkin acknowledge that while women are making strides in the job market, they are still underpaid in comparison to men. In fields with an above-average percentage of women, the average earnings for the fields were $27,278, compared to $37,962 in fields with an above-average percentage of men.

Furthermore, influential women like eBay President Meg Whitman, Hearst Publishing's Cathleen Black and Xerox CEO Anne Mulcahy prove it is possible for women to not just join the workforce in greater numbers, but to lead it as well. These three women have paved the way for other women to aspire to top-tier positions in the workforce.

Farr and Shatkin sorted through the 40 best career fields based on the fields' overall scores on earnings, growth and workforce increase. From there, they determined the best fields with an above-average percentage of women based on annual earnings, growth and workforce increase. The following list features the top 10 fields with an above-average percentage of women:

Farr and Shatkin hope lists and figures like these do not hinder men or women from entering fields they do not already dominate. Instead, they say: "The fact is that fields with above-average percentages of women or men offer good opportunities for both men and women if they want to work in one of these fields."

"The fields on both lists include jobs that pay well, and women or men who are interested in these fields and who have or can obtain the necessary education and training for the jobs should consider them."



Copyright 2006 Jist Publishing

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