Which jobs have more women than men?


Most journalists are women. Most authors are women. Most teachers, lab technicians, therapists, editors, librarians, public relations officers and insurance underwriters are women.

In fact, it is arguable that women now hold a greater proportion of Britain's professional jobs than their representation in the workforce would lead one to expect.

The statistics team in the House of Commons library has just published data on women in public life, the professions and the board room. On International Women's Day it is worth celebrating the progress there has been over the past decade in trying to achieve equality for women in the workplace.

In some parts of public and corporate life there is still some way to go. Just 22% of MPs and peers are women, with a similar proportion in the Cabinet and serving as judges in the courts. As of last month, just 15% of FTSE 100 company directors were women.

But what does equality look like? As I scrutinised the tables of occupations and the ratio of male to female employees, I began to wonder if only 50:50 really represented job done.

A look at official employment stats reveals that the number of men working full-time is 13.58m compared to 7.68m women. The figures for part-time working show 2.01m men and 5.86m women. If we assume that two part-time jobs equals one full-time job, it means that 58% of the workforce are men and 42% are women.

So, it could be argued that equal gender representation within the current employment market would see roughly four out of 10 jobs in any sector held by women.

With this in mind, one sees that among the professions, some 44% of jobs are filled by women - slightly higher than their representation within the workforce might lead one to expect.

Women now make up 45% of the country's GPs, with the same figure in a category comprising solicitors, lawyers, judges and coroners. It is a similar story with scientists - 46% are women.

The employment consequences of the government's austerity package are expected to have a greater impact on women than men, particularly those working part-time in the public sector. There are still glass ceilings for women in some parts of the country's professional and public life.

But on International Women's Day, perhaps it is also worth reflecting on how much has been achieved already.

Table showing Women in the professions, 2001 - 2010
Mark Easton Article written by Mark Easton Mark Easton Home editor

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  • rate this

    Comment number 32.

    Cressida Dick,Julia Middleton,Jacqui Smith,Angela Merkell,Queen Elizabeth,
    Janet Street Porter,Hilary Armstrong, Karen Lumley, Estelle Morris, Margaret Thatcher,Patricia hewitt,Theresa May,(Hilary Clinton/Condoleeza Rice).
    Quangos. Money. Lifestyle. Persuasion.Power.Frankfurt.

  • rate this

    Comment number 31.

    I agree No 28 JurgenV - The categories are too broad to be meaningful, however, I have found the opposite of your statement to be true in the last few companies I have worked in, and they have all been large or global companies. A good friend is head scientist in a global company, with 75%+ female staff, my last company had a female CIO. Perhaps a deeper report is necessary?

  • rate this

    Comment number 30.

    Near 100% of midwives are female.

    Should there be some legislative measure to force women to accept male midwives, perhaps we should prosecute pregnant women who voice an objection ?

    I hope not ... but why not?

  • rate this

    Comment number 29.

    Could it be that, in addition to female-unfriendly environment of most corporations, women prefer occupations that are not cut-throat, usury, or objectified by profiteering?
    Could it be that women fail to identify with breaking the glass ceiling, or breaking anything for that matter.
    I wonder how many wars would be fought IF more countries were run by women. Might they prove better diplomats?

  • rate this

    Comment number 28.

    The categories are too broad to be meaningful and are mostly not “professions”. “IT” is almost entirely male in top technical roles, but overwhelmingly female in low-paid support roles. Most women in “science” do routine lab work requiring little skill. “Sales associates” can be very high-paid commission salesmen or very low-paid shop assistants. The devil is in the details.


Comments 5 of 32



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