It’s 2019. What’s Stopping Women from Entering Male Dominated Fields?

It’s 2019. What’s Stopping Women from Entering Male Dominated Fields?

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Have you wondered why there aren’t more women working in male-dominated fields even though it’s 2019? There are actually many factors involved, from wage gaps to discrimination. There has been a temporary increase in women in fields such as construction, but this is not predicted to last.

It’s Not As if There’s No Room in the Job Market

According to Maryville University, more than 158,000 jobs will be created in protective services from 2016 to 2026. Demand is also projected to increase for a variety of jobs in federal agencies, such as transit and railroad police and gaming investigators. More women have been moving into male-dominated fields as the labor market increases. Traditionally female-dominated occupations, such as healthcare, are growing as well.

The U.S. still has a wage gap between male and female employees — anywhere from a $.30-$.10 difference, depending on where you are. And according to a Cornell University study, the average pay tends to decrease whenever females start to work in a field in greater numbers. There is also the unfortunate issue of discrimination.

Discrimination and Harassment Still Prevail

Women who enter male-dominated fields often face discrimination and harassment, particularly if they get pregnant and choose to continue working in those fields throughout their pregnancy. They also tend to generally feel as if they’re not being given a voice and are under-utilized and treated as incompetent. Most generally don’t feel supported, although some women have been known to use that struggle to motivate them to prevail all the more.

Style Differences

According to the Institution for Engineering and Technology, preconceived notions from childhood also play a role. For example, girls are encouraged to play with dolls and treat them like children, students, or patients. As a result, women are believed to do better in fields that have a more nurturing focus, and they become more prepared to enter traditionally female fields, such as entry-level healthcare and teaching at the elementary level.

Boys, on the other hand, are encouraged to play things like cops and robbers, trucks, and building blocks. This prepares them for traditionally masculine fields that demand strict and to-the-point commands. Male-dominated fields also don’t seem to be as openly communicative as female ones are. For example, they don’t do things like give surveys to their employees or place suggestion boxes in the office.

As the economy continues to recover from the Great Recession of 2008, there appears to be much potential for growth in both male- and female-dominated fields. While more women have been coming into male-dominated fields, by about 10 percent over the past decade, this isn’t expected to last. There are still too many barriers and women continue to face discrimination in male-dominated fields.

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