15 Fast-Growing Careers for Women in Male-Dominated Fields

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AnnaMarie Houlis4.87k
Journalist & travel blogger
May 25, 2024 at 9:18AM UTC

It's no secret that women are underrepresented in today's workforce. In fact, of the CEOs leading the 2018 Fortune 500 companies, just 33 are women. When it comes to male-dominated industries, the number of women in leadership roles only declines.

Here are 15 jobs, for example, that see far fewer women than men.

1. Pilot

Professional pilots are those flying and navigating airplanes, helicopters and other aircrafts — and most of them happen to be men. In fact, data for both the US and the UK suggests that just over 4% of airline pilots are women, according to CAPA Centre for Aviation. While that number is growing, it's moving very slowly.

2. Architect

According to the American Institute of Architects San Francisco Chapter-led Equity by Design initiative, female architects earn lower wages than their male peers and are less likely to hold leadership positions. Perhaps that's why, research reported by The New York Times has found that, while women account for half of the graduates from various architecture programs across the country, they only make up about 20 percent of actually licensed architects and an ever more meager 17 percent of partners and principals in firms. 

3. Engineer

It's no surprise that only 13% of engineers are women, according to the Society of Women Engineers' research. In 2014, 26.9% of male freshmen students, compared to just 7.9% of female freshmen students had intentions of pursuing degrees in STEM. But over 32% of women switch out of STEM degree programs in college, and only 30% of those women who do go on to earn bachelor’s degrees in engineering are still working in engineering 20 years later. Why? Well, 30% of women who have left the engineering profession cite organizational climate as the reason — they don't see themselves represented. Female engineers earn 10% less than male engineers, and 61% of female engineers report that they have to repeatedly prove themselves repeatedly to get the same respect and recognition as their male colleagues.

4. Computer Scientist

Only 26% of computer scientists are women, according to the aforementioned Society of Women Engineers' research. It's largely because, to date, only 27 percent of all students taking the AP Computer Science exam in the United States are female, and just 18 percent of American computer-science college degrees go to women.

5. Construction Worker

Only 9% of U.S. construction workers are women. This means that there, while there were still over 800,000 women workers employed in construction in 2010, the gender disparity is high, according to the United States Department of Labor.

6. Firefighter

In 2017, 7% of the country's firefighters across an estimated 29,819 fire departments were female — that's 77,900 women, according to the National Fire Protection Association. Of the career firefighters, just 4% were female — that's only 13,400 women. Of the volunteer firefighters, women made up just nine percent of the total, which amounts to 64,500 volunteer female firefighters.

7. Police Officer

In 2018, a whopping 60.3% of full-time civilian law enforcement employees in the United States were women, according to Statista. That said, just 12.6% of full-time law enforcement officers were female, while 87.4% of them were male.

8. Faculty Professors

Women are gaining parity with men in faculty positions at colleges, universities and educational institutions across the country — but they still lag behind. Specifically, women currently hold 49% of total faculty positions, but just 38 percent of tenured jobs, according to a study from the TIAA Institute.

9. Financial Planner

Finance is a largely male-dominated industry, across almost all jobs. According to the Certified Financial Planner Board, 76.83% of certified financial planner professionals are men, while just 23.16% are female.

10. Actuary

Female actuaries are also few and far between. There are 2,500 female Fellows of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries, who make up just nearly 23% of qualified actuaries, according to The Actuary. Meanwhile, just 37.5% of students are female, and just about 40% of new entrants to membership are women.

11. Auto Mechanic

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, female auto mechanics are growing. In 1989, of the 880,000 auto service professionals, only 6,000 were women. In 1999, of the 837,000 mechanics working in the auto services field,12,000 were female. And, in 2013, approximately 2% of auto mechanics were women. The number is growing, but it's still painfully low.

12. Surgeon

Women are underrepresented across a whole host of healthcare fields. In surgery, for example, women make up only about 19 percent of all surgeons in the country. In fact, women make up just about 22 percent of all full-time faculty in the field of surgery, according to research reported by the Huffington Post.

13. Arboriculturist

Arboriculturists are responsible for upkeeping forests, planting trees, landscaping and using hand and power tools to prune, hedge and remove trees. As of 2014, of the 40,116 employees with the United States Forest Service, 64.76% were men and just 35.24% were women, according to research reported by Modern Farmer. Women made up just about a third of each department, from field to office employees.

14. Chef

Women are the helm of less than 7% of restaurant kitchens in the United States, according to a 2014 Bloomberg study.  Despite how few female chefs there are, tons of them are leading some of the best-rated restaurants around the world. Learn more about the best female chefs who earned some spot the list of the world's 50 best restaurants in our round-up of imaginative female chefs around the world.

15. Dentist

As of 2018, there are 199,486 dentists working in dentistry. That said, just 32.3% are female, according to the American Dental Association. There is a slow increase in women dentists, however. According to the American Dental Association Health Policy Institute's Survey of Dental Practice, in 1978, just 15.9% of first-year dental students were women. By 2014, 47.7% of students were female.

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AnnaMarie Houlis is a feminist, a freelance journalist and an adventure aficionado with an affinity for impulsive solo travel. She spends her days writing about women’s empowerment from around the world. You can follow her work on her blog, HerReport.org, and follow her journeys on Instagram @her_report, Twitter @herreportand Facebook.

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