It’s crazy to think that not even half a century ago, women in the workplace was a pretty rare sight. Sure, you had receptionists, nurses, and teachers who were women, but aside from those jobs, you just didn’t see many women in the labor market. If that isn’t shocking enough, the idea of a woman actually being in a position of importance back then was borderline blasphemy!
Flash forward to today, and you won’t find a single career field where women don’t have a voice! According to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Women’s Bureau, women comprised an astounding 46.8% of the labor force in 2016. In 1965, it was just above 35%. From STEM job to positions on the board of directors for international corporations, women have made huge progress in proving what Rosie the Riveter was touting way back in WWII, “We can do it!”
While there’s still a lot of progress to be made in getting women into leadership roles and closing the pay gap, there’s also a lot to celebrate! In particular, we want to recognize the career fields that have done the most to actively recruit, retain, and promote hard-working women everywhere. Without further ado, here are the five career fields that have done the most to give women the fair treatment we deserve!
1. Veterinary Medicine
Around the turn of the 20th century, the stereotype of the veterinarian was that of a gruff but sweet old man who helped farmers figure out why their cows kept getting sick. It was practically impossible to find a single female veterinarian. Today, the outlook couldn’t be more different!
Since the year 2000, veterinary medicine has not only become a female-friendly career field, it’s actually become women-centric! About 34% of all veterinarians were women in 2000, compared to 2016, when women filled nearly 60% of all veterinary positions. With average salaries of about $90,000, veterinary medicine is also one of the best-paying fields that women can enter!
When your parents were growing up, most pharmacists were usually men who owned their own private pharmacy and worked closely with the family doctor to treat diseases. Today, pharmacy is a field dominated by women who work in hospitals, drug stores, and out of private practices. As of 2016, 54.6% of all pharmacy slots are filled by women. That’s an increase of nearly 29% from the year 2000!
Pharmacy is also a great career field for women because it offers both excellent pay and a great work/life balance. Salaries average around $120,000 and most pharmacists work a standard 8-hour work day, allowing women the chance to grow a stable career and spend plenty of time with their families.
3. Medical Sciences
Women have always had a strong presence in the medical field, ever since Florence Nightengale proved that nurses were critical to good patient care. However, for hundreds of years, women were often limited to supporting roles such as nursing or administration within major hospitals. Today, there’s a growing number of young women who are laying claim to the coveted title of “doctor.”
A 2017 study by Athena Health showed that about 60% of all doctors under the age of 35 are female. Conversely, around 70% of doctors aged 55-64 were male. As more young women are encouraged to pursue their MD and specialize in fields like cardiology, dermatology, and radiology, we’ll see more young women fill the multitude of open jobs on the market.
4. Public Relations
To their credit, many organizations are recognizing that if you want to connect to the public at large in a positive way, you need to put a woman front and center. Between 2000 and 2016, the field of public relations (in particular, public relations manager positions) saw an increase of nearly 18% in female employees. We’re now at the point where over 67% of all public relations positions are filled by women.
This is a major victory for several reasons. First of all, public relations managers and fundraisers earn a typical salary of around $78,000, well above the national average. Second, public relations positions allow women to represent their organization in a direct way. These are roles that require confidence, organization, charisma, and most importantly, leadership. The fact that women have seen such profound growth in this field is proof that women can represent a company every bit as effectively as a man can.
5. Literature and Journalism
It’s wonderful to see that women are being acknowledged not only for their technical and leadership skills but also for their ability to express themselves. In jobs categorized as creative writing, journalism, and copywriting, women have seen substantial growth in the past few decades. In 2016, nearly 57% of all writing jobs were filled by women. In March 2019, 6 of the 10 bestsellers on the New York Times Fiction list were written by women. In a field that’s traditionally been dominated by men, this is a major stepping stone to true equality for women. The success of female authors has proven that women not only have something to say but can say it beautifully, in a way that resonates with thousands of people.