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 12.

    Shocked at the negative comments about women at work.

    They have always been able to juggle the housework better than men so why not believe that they can also be excellent project managers too?

    I prefer working with women as they are far more open and willing to share their knowledge compared to men.

  • rate this

    Comment number 11.

    "The fact that there are fewer women than men in full time employment is shameful"
    I don't think this article was meant to suggest 'problem solved', but rather to highlight how much better represented women are now than, say, 10 years ago. It's not perfect, but at least we're heading in the right direction. And as the author suggested, some people will only be happy when it's exactly 50/50...

  • rate this

    Comment number 10.

    No problem with Quotas, Women should be equally represented throughout the work place and if this needs to be backed up by Quotas, then so be it.
    However in the interests of Quid pro Quo should we not have Quotas (say 40%) enabling men to have custody of children after relationship breakdown?
    I would value the of any "EQUAL Oppertunities" Campaigners out there.

  • rate this

    Comment number 9.

    "And it was a woman who screwed this country up, shutting down all of our industries and putting everyone on the scrap heap."
    Still banging on about something that happened 30 years ago? Get over it! You've had enough time to stop blaming someone else for your own shortcomings.

  • rate this

    Comment number 8.

    Smug. Very smug. Part-time jobs are generally ill-paid, menial and dead end. Women do them because they are disproportionately burdened with childcare and housework. The fact that there are fewer women than men in full time employment is shameful, not an excuse for men to slap themselves on the backs and say "Well, everything's all right then."

  • rate this

    Comment number 7.

    2. Steve 'And it was a woman who screwed this country up, shutting down all of our industries and putting everyone on the scrap heap' If 'she' had been a man, would you have mentioned gender?

    Interesting that the first comments are all anti-women. Increasing equality seems to have created a chip on some people's shoulders. How sad.

  • rate this

    Comment number 6.

    Wow... the employment numbers say one thing about respect for women and equality improving and ye the commentary here says the opposite about male intolerance and ignorance. Maybe someday people will accept equality as normal and natural, but that is not today.

  • rate this

    Comment number 5.

    Steve's right, of course. Why has no else spotted this...? I hadn't. With no axe to grind, I'd just come to assume women were badly done to. But now, come to think of it, I see there are other bones of contention. Women swing all kinds of part-time jobs for concessionary reasons too - like pregnancy and child-rearing...! Never mind the Great Grand-Slam rip-off by lady tennis professionals...!!!

  • rate this

    Comment number 4.

    Notice that the softer easier jobs are preferred by women - therapists, public relations and librarians.
    Soon we will have marches by white men demanding equal treatment.
    To the author: use PNG format images so it's actually readable.

  • Comment number 3.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this

    Comment number 2.

    And it was a woman who screwed this country up, shutting down all of our industries and putting everyone on the scrap heap.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1.

    No wonder the country is in tatters...


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