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Gender Roles? Traditional 'Gendered' Jobs Are Now Being Flipped

Gender Roles? Traditional 'Gendered' Jobs Are Now Being Flipped
Credit: GaudiLab/Shutterstock

For decades, some jobs were traditionally held by women, while others were filled with mostly men. New research shows, however, that in recent years those gender lines have begun to blur.

The study from CareerBuilder revealed that a greater number of women and men are moving into roles that have traditionally been held by the opposite sex.

"Women and men are sidestepping preconceived notions and crossing over into roles that historically have been heavily populated by the opposite sex," said Rosemary Haefner, chief human resources officer for CareerBuilder, in a statement.

The study found that nearly one-quarter of the new jobs in typically male-dominated occupations, such as CEOs, lawyers, surgeons, web developers, chemists and producers, were filled by women between 2009 and 2017. Overall, 23 percent of all jobs traditionally held by men are now held by female workers. [Want more job applicants? Use gender-neutral wording]

Conversely, men took 30 percent of the new jobs in positions typically held by women over the last eight years. The research shows that currently 27 percent of all female-dominated occupations, such as education administrators, pharmacists, interior designers, cooks, accountants and human resources managers, are held by male workers.

"Over the last ten years, women have been gaining ground in management, law and various STEM-related roles," Haefner said. "More men are moving into education and training, support roles and creative fields."

The study is based on an analysis of 2009 to 2017 data from Emsi, CareerBuilder's labor market analysis arm, which pulls information from multiple federal and state labor market sources.

According to the research, these are the male-dominated jobs where women made the most gains, and the percentage of women filling those roles since 2009:

  1. Lawyers: 48 percent
  2. Veterinarians: 48 percent
  3. Commercial and industrial designers: 48 percent
  4. Marketing managers: 47 percent
  5. Optometrists: 43 percent
  6. Management analysts: 43 percent
  7. Sales managers: 43 percent
  8. Producers and directors: 42 percent
  9. Chemists: 42 percent
  10. Coaches and scouts: 41 percent
  11. Private detectives and investigators: 41 percent
  12. Emergency medical technicians and paramedics: 40 percent
  13. Financial analysts: 40 percent
  14. Team assemblers: 40 percent
  15. Computer systems analysts: 34 percent
  16. General and operations managers: 33 percent
  17. Firefighters: 32 percent
  18. Surgeons: 31 percent
  19. Web developers: 31 percent
  20. Dentists, general: 31 percent
  21. Chief executives: 28 percent

The study shows that these are the female-dominated jobs where men made the most gains, and the percentage of men filling those roles since 2009:

  1. Cooks, institution and cafeteria: 64 percent
  2. Merchandise displayers and window trimmers: 59 percent
  3. Retail salespeople: 58 percent
  4. Pharmacists: 50 percent
  5. Education administrators, postsecondary: 49 percent
  6. Elementary school teachers, except special education: 49 percent
  7. Bartenders: 48 percent
  8. Insurance sales agents: 43 percent
  9. Market research analysts and marketing specialists: 42 percent
  10. Accountants and auditors: 41 percent
  11. Technical writers: 42 percent
  12. Interior designers: 41 percent
  13. Fitness trainers and aerobics instructors: 40 percent
  14. Telemarketers: 40 percent
  15. Training and development specialists: 39 percent
  16. Respiratory therapists: 37 percent
  17. Human resources managers: 37 percent
  18. Nurse anesthetists: 37 percent
  19. Physician assistants: 36 percent
  20. Public relations specialists:  36 percent

"While there is still room for improvement in terms of finding balance, there seems to be less gender bias when it comes to hiring and choosing career paths," Haefner said.

Chad Brooks

Chad Brooks is a Chicago-based writer and editor with nearly 20 years in media. A 1998 journalism graduate of Indiana University, Chad began his career with Business News Daily in 2011 as a freelance writer. In 2014, he joined the staff full time as a senior writer. Before Business News Daily, Chad spent nearly a decade as a staff reporter for the Daily Herald in suburban Chicago, covering a wide array of topics including local and state government, crime, the legal system and education. Chad has also worked on the other side of the media industry, promoting small businesses throughout the United States for two years in a public relations role. His first book, How to Start a Home-Based App Development Business, was published in 2014. He lives with his wife and daughter in the Chicago suburbs.