We like to think that we live in a world of equal opportunities for all. And while that may be a goal that we’re moving towards, we’re still a long way from the promised land.
Right now there are some pretty severe gender divides in the workplace. The problem doesn’t seem to be so much in the workplace itself. It seems more to do with the expectations placed on each gender. Men are vastly overrepresented in construction and engineering. Women in nursing and looking after children. And perhaps this reflects society’s values, but who knows? That’s a question for social scientists to answer.
In this post, we’re going to go through the professions most underrepresented by women. More importantly, we’re going to ask; does discrimination play a role?
Physicians And Surgeons
Over the last twenty years or so there has been a big push to get more women doctors. And to be frank, the campaign has been enormously successful. The number of women doctors has exploded. And it is now reached the point where people don’t automatically assume a doctor is male. Right now about 37 percent of people in the profession are women and this looks set to rise. Most people agree that, at least in the arena of healthcare, a victory has been won for equality.
Incidentally, while more women have become doctors, no more men have become nurses. Nurses are still overwhelmingly female, (about 90 percent).
Go back fifty years, and you’d struggle to find women visible in any sport, except tennis perhaps. But today, things in women’s sport have moved on. Now women have practically equal time with men when it comes to events like the Olympics. But in non-government-sponsored events, it’s a different story.
By and large, fewer women are involved in the highest levels of sport. And, although there have been some moves towards more women team sports, only moderate progress has been made.
Then there is the fact that women in the sports sector are paid less than their male counterparts. As noted by a post on http://www.lambertonlaw.com/, soccer wages for top female players are lower. Unfortunately, his wage differential is a feature of practically every sport in the world. And whether it’s the fault of sports clubs, fans or both, is difficult to tell.
If there was ever a quintessentially male occupation, it was programming. And the world of programming has not been without controversy of late. Recently, big tech firms pushed to get more women employed on their books. But their drive was seen as sexist and was later retracted. Women complained that the male-dominated tech sector did not understand them.
Right now, only about 21 percent of workers in the tech sector are women. And according to many, this is not acceptable. What’s more, the number of women in the tech sector has declined from some 33 percent in the 1990s to its low level today. And this has led to charges of endemic sexism in the sector.
Lastly, it’s worth mentioning that there are gender divides in almost all industries. Whether this is a reflection of innate preferences or ugly discrimination remains to be proven.