Not that long ago, opportunities for women in the workforce were quite limited. Secretarial and clerical work, nursing, jobs in textiles and in service were expected positions for women, and those jobs were almost entirely performed by them.
Today, while very few jobs remain completely out of reach for women, many are still highly female or male-dominated. And many of the female-dominated jobs are the same ones of 70 years ago. While many of these primarily women-occupied jobs are vanishing due to changes in technology — telemarketers, bank tellers, bookkeepers, and librarians, to name a few — others are in fields that are in great demand, and are growing rapidly.
In fact, while many male-dominated roles — manufacturing and other forms of manual labor — are shrinking, the majority of the fastest growing jobs are held primarily by women. Still, because these are female dominated occupations, they are often dismissed as “women’s work” by men.
Notably, as they have done traditionally, women continue to occupy a number of jobs in caretaking and medicine. As the baby boomer generation ages, demand for those roles has grown and will continue to grow in the foreseeable future.
Based on occupation data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed jobs where at least two-thirds of the workers are women. Of those, we identified 32 jobs where employment has increased by at least 10% between 2011 and 2017. Employment at some of these occupations has grown by over 50% during that time.
32. Dental assistants
> 2011-2017 growth: +12.6%
> 2017 employment: 215,000
> Six-year employment change: +5,000 men; +19,000 women
> Share of women: 94.4%
31. Hairdressers, hairstylists, and cosmetologists
> 2011-2017 growth: +14.9%
> 2017 employment: 324,000
> Six-year employment change: -1,000 men; +43,000 women
> Share of women: 93.2%
30. Travel agents
> 2011-2017 growth: +16.3%
> 2017 employment: 57,000
> Six-year employment change: -1,000 men; +9,000 women
> Share of women: 82.5%
29. Graders and sorters, agricultural products
> 2011-2017 growth: +16.5%
> 2017 employment: 99,000
> Six-year employment change: +00 men; +14,000 women
> Share of women: 67.7%
28. Meeting, convention, and event planners
> 2011-2017 growth: +17.2%
> 2017 employment: 102,000
> Six-year employment change: -2,000 men; +18,000 women
> Share of women: 87.3%