Women Have Higher Profile in Many Professional Fields

Tuesday, July 27 2010


Women have increased their representation in several professional fields in recent years. Indeed, women currently make up over half those employed in both diagnostic and treatment positions in medicine, related health professions and in business and financial professional positions.

There has also been a long-term increase in the share of women employed in managerial positions. In 2004, 37% of all those employed in managerial positions were women, up from 30% in 1987.

However, all this growth occurred in the early part of this period. The share of management positions accounted for by women actually dipped slightly between 1996 and 2004.

As well, among managers, women tend to be better represented in lower-level positions as opposed to those at more senior levels. Women also remain very much a minority among professionals employed in the natural sciences, engineering and mathematics.

The report also found dramatic increases in the employment levels of women with very young children. By 2004, 65% of all women with children under the age of three were employed, more than double the proportion in 1976. Similarly, 70% of women whose youngest child was aged three to five worked for pay in 2004, up from 37% in 1976.

In addition, the share of female lone parents with jobs has risen dramatically over the last three decades. In 2004, 68% of female lone parents were employed, whereas the figure was below 50% in 1976.

Women are also much more likely than their male counterparts to work part time. In 2004, 27% of the total female work force were part-time employees, more than double the proportion of just 11% among employed men. Women currently account for about 70% of all part-time employees, a figure which has not changed appreciably since the mid-1970s.

The majority of employed women continue to work in occupations in which women have traditionally been concentrated. In 2004, two-thirds of all employed women were working in teaching, nursing and related health occupations, clerical or other administrative positions, and sales and service occupations.

In fact, there has been virtually no change in the proportion of women employed in these traditionally female-dominated occupations over the past decade.



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