Women now make up nearly half the U.S. labor force, but for years their numbers have remained disproportionately low in some fields, such as science and engineering. Meanwhile, their numbers have remained high in other industries like education and care.
That may be starting to change.
A new analysis by CareerCast puts careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, so-called STEM jobs, at the top of the list in part because the ratio of women to men has started to shift and that's where the opportunity is. "Because technological jobs are such a bedrock of the 21st century economy, STEM employers would be wise to meet growing demand through the active hiring of more women," says Tony Lee, publisher at CareerCast. "While STEM fields are notorious for lacking gender diversity, some of the best jobs for women are bucking the trends."
CareerCast used data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics to look at the percentage of women in certain fields, and how those numbers have grown over recent years. The study found that STEM jobs, such as statistician and biomedical engineer, were seeing many more women compared to a decade ago. The jobs listed in the study are in careers that show a growing percentage of women as compared with previous years. Six of the 11 careers on the list are STEM jobs.
Lee explained that more women are being sought after in historically male-dominated fields such as science, technology and engineering jobs, so breaking into those fields is not the challenge it was previously. However, there is still plenty of room for improvement. A Commerce Department report found that women hold less than one in four STEM jobs.
That doesn't mean there are fewer opportunities for advancement in professions that have historically drawn more women, though. "More women are becoming managers in fields they have dominated historically," Lee said. "That means more decision-making power and higher salaries for women."
Check out CareerCast's 11 best jobs for women this year.
—By Reem Nasr
Posted 28 May 2015