Being a feminist means believing in political, social and economic equality for women. But feminism isn’t just about believing; it’s about taking action because of what you believe in. Yet advocating and fighting for equality doesn’t have to be a job you can only do in your free time. It’s possible to make feminism not only a part of your everyday life but also your professional life.
What is a feminist job?
A feminist job is a role that specifically works toward equality for women. Because this is a broader goal, feminist jobs can vary greatly while still working for the same beliefs. A feminist job might be a managerial role for an organization that helps to get women hired; it could also be working as a lawyer for a domestic violence shelter. Feminist jobs advocate for women’s progress with a focus on social justice, whether that’s through public policy development, grassroots organizing or direct political action.
8 types of feminist jobs.
(NB: Annual salaries are based on data compiled by the Bureau of Labor Statistics unless otherwise noted.)
1. Mentor for other women
Annual Salary: $41, 186 (Glassdoor)
One of the best ways to uplift women is by passing on wisdom, skills and advice to other women. Becoming a mentor can take many forms. Educational mentorship programs can give women the knowledge they need to get hired in a certain job field. Teaching opportunities can also allow you to mentor young women with the skills they need to ace a college entrance exam or master a skill like coding. Mentorship can also take place within an organization. Training and development managers lead programs to enhance their employees’ skills, which can help mentor already hired women to help them succeed in their current positions.
2. Political campaign worker
Annual Salary: $114,800
If you’re hoping to take action on the politics of equality, working on a campaign can help elect leaders that work for feminist ideals. Organizations like GetHerElected have numerous positions that enable women to do pro bono work for progressive women candidates. Working for candidates helps advocate for political reform, allowing the candidate to make real legislative changes on issues that affect women. If you work for a women candidate, you’ll also be working toward women’s representation in government — whether it’s local, state or national legislature!
3. Feminist and gender studies professor
Annual Salary: $82,506 (Glassdoor, assistant professor)
If you’re interested in theory and academia, becoming a feminist and gender studies professor can help shape the next generation of intellectuals. Being a professor allows you to promote the work of revolutionary women, while also introducing students to critical ways of thinking about sex and gender. You’ll be impacting how your students see the world by giving them academic works that recognize and analyze women’s place in society.
4. Writing and editing for feminist publications
Annual Salary: $62,170
While writing and editing are skills applicable to many jobs, they can translate into a feminist dream job when used for a feminist publication. These publications aim to educate women by writing on feminist values, ideas and topics. They offer a great alternative to other forms of media, which may ignore feminist issues and perspectives, and give a platform to women who want to share their voice.
5. Women’s health clinician
Annual Salary: $51,398 (Glassdoor)
If you’re interested in reproductive rights and women’s health, working at a clinic is a great place to provide women in need with the care they deserve. Organizations like Planned Parenthood provide women with birth control options, breast cancer screenings and legal abortions. Outside of bigger organizations, there are also opportunities to work at local OB/GYNs, whether it’s as a nurse practitioner or medical assistant.
6. Sexual health educator
Annual salary: $46,080
If you’re not as interested in practicing the medical side at a women’s health clinic, there’s much to be done in the field of sexual health education. Sexual health educators speak with students to not only teach them about sexual intercourse, but also about human sexuality, relationships, healthy sexual behavior and more.
7. Social worker
Annual salary: $49,470
Being a social worker gives you the opportunity to do feminist work by helping women in need. Social workers identify people requiring help and assess their needs; then, they work with their client to improve their situation and overall wellbeing. While not all social work is feminist, social workers have the ability to work with women and issues that may affect them because of their gender, such as domestic abuse, sexual assault, divorce, child support and more.
8. Feminist therapist
Annual salary: $50,090
Feminist therapy is a type of psychotherapy that focuses on uplifting women. Similarly to social workers, feminist therapists help to improve their clients' wellbeing. Feminist therapy is unique in its approach in that it focuses specifically on how the issues in women’s lives are affected by their gender. The feminist therapist and the client have a strong interpersonal relationship, where the therapist willingly shares their own experiences in the therapy sessions.
How to get a feminist job.
1. Find your focus.
Being a feminist means advocating for equality, but equality comes in numerous forms for a multitude of issues. Instead of simply searching for “feminist jobs,” narrow your search to the type of issue you want to work on. Consider what skills you’re bringing to the table and how they might translate to specific feminist work. Are you knowledgeable about sexual health and reproductive rights? You might want to look for a job in women’s health. Are you a great writer? There are numerous feminist publications out there that look for articles or other written content.
2. Consider volunteering while you job search.
Volunteering can be a great way to get involved immediately. You’ll get to work with organizations you love while fulfilling your feminist goals. Volunteering is a great way to see what kinds of work you like and helps you narrow your focus for the type of feminist role you might want to do. Because you’re less involved when volunteering over having a full-time job, you have the flexibility to try out several types of feminist work before committing to a role.
3. Look in the right places.
Feminist jobs can be found everywhere — not just the most liberal cities in New York and California. While you may want to narrow your ideas when thinking of what type of job you want to do, don’t be afraid to think bigger when you’re looking for a feminist job. There are several feminist organizations around the country and world, even if they’re not overtly advertising their feminist missions. The Feminist Majority Foundation has job postings for organizations that advocate for the social, political and economic equality for women. Idealist is great for finding jobs related to social activism. It’s also helpful to look at organizations that help women — like Fairygodboss! — and see what kinds of work their employees are doing. Don’t be afraid to dream toward bigger organizations, but don’t forget all the important work local groups might be doing as well. If you’re working close to home, you’ll get to see the impact of your work on your own community.
If you’re looking to advocate for feminism in your professional life, finding a feminist job is a great way to follow through on your activist dreams while making a real impact on others’ lives. Whether you’re a writer or a clinician, there are numerous organizations with feminist ideals, from supporting abuse victims to educating women on sexual health. The ideal feminist job is attainable if you narrow your focus, look for organizations you love and apply your unique skills to the activism you want to pursue.
Zoë Kaplan is an English major at Wesleyan University in the class of 2020. She writes about women, theater, sports, and everything in between. Read more of Zoë’s work at www.zoëkaplan.com.