Which jobs have more women than men?
- 8 March 2012
- From the section UK
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.