It’s a sad truth that women have long faced gender discrimination in the workplace, being discouraged from pursuing some professions, finding the path to significant promotion blocked (the notorious “glass ceiling”), and getting paid less than men for equal work. (Women are in the majority in 17 of the 25 lowest paying jobs in America.)
At the same time, women have undeniably made great inroads in some fields, and have taken top posts in an increasing number of companies. Last year, in fact, saw the highest-ever percentage of women in CEO positions in America.
There are also fields in which women dominate. Education and what are sometimes labeled the “caring professions” (like nursing and social work) stand out. In the most striking example, fully 99.8% of preschool and kindergarten teachers are women. (These states pay their teachers the least.)
To assemble a list of popular jobs that are held almost exclusively by women, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics Current Population Survey. Miscellaneous occupations and jobs with fewer than 2,000 female workers were not considered.
In fields where women remain underrepresented, there may be factors other than gender discrimination at play. Some areas of endeavor offer more flexibility and better work-life balance than others, and some may offer more career satisfaction. Helping a child with a speech disorder may be more rewarding than digging a hole in the ground, whether you’re a man or a woman.
Bear in mind, too, that some held mostly by women, such as registered nurse, are highly skilled and well paid.
24/7 Wall St. has compiled a list of popular jobs in which women comprise well over 80% of the workforce.