How Gender Roles Are Changing Today

Historically, many jobs were only made available to men. Women could only apply to certain positions such as secretarial ones and so forth. Now, many industries are seeing change: more women are taking on jobs that were originally dominated by men and vice versa.

Many might be aware of this, but this can only get better because men and women won’t have to be restricted from certain jobs based on their sex. Surveys show that women are gaining ground in male occupations such as legal occupations, as well as coaching, directorial, firefighting, and web developing occupations, among others. 

Meanwhile, more men are also getting into female occupations such as public relations specialists, interior designers, cooks, special education teachers, and such. Here’s a closer look at how gender roles are changing today.

Motherhood And Employment

As stated above, more men are also getting into female occupations such as public relations specialists, interior designers, cooks, special education teachers, and more. While it’s easy to assume that young mothers would feel less enthusiastic about jobs and responsibilities than their male counterparts, studies show different results. 

The results suggested that mothers and childless women express the same desire in moving to work that demands more responsibility. This can mean that women, pregnant or not, are just as likely to look for full-time jobs as men. Many of today’s mothers still have the same ambition as their single peers.

Women In Science And Tech

The science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) sector didn’t have a lot of female workers until 1978. Since that year, more women have ventured into STEM for career opportunities, which has helped close the gender gap between male to female workers. 

To give specific figures, women in the Physicist role have increased by 116%. Meanwhile, the Architect role has had a 127% increase in female employees. These roles in STEM that showed a rise in women professionals mean that there are now more female scientists than before. 

More Sectors Welcoming Female Workers

Outside STEM, the Agriculture role has shown a 67% increase in female workers, whereas the Construction role has shown a 71% increase. Meanwhile, Consumer Goods had a 71% increase while Public Safety showed a 118% increase. This illustrates that more women are now entering industries that may have been traditionally viewed as for men.

These industries involve the manufacturing of products, construction of roads or buildings, law enforcement, and rescue services. These roles have often been stereotyped in the media as jobs ideally for men.  Now you can see more women in police uniforms, factories, construction sites, and the like. 

Shifting Views

The roles mentioned have often been stereotyped in the media as jobs ideally for men.  Women are, as exemplified above, seen in more male-dominated roles. The views of men and women regarding gender roles at work are also worth looking into. 

A 2008 study showed that approximately 40% of men and 37% of women shared the traditional views saying it’s better if men did the earning while women stayed at home to care for the kids. While holding such views in this decade might be disappointing, it’s actually a decrease from a similar study in 1977. 

The study showed how 52% of women and 74% of men believed in traditional work views. The decrease in people who no longer held such beliefs shows that shifting views are at play when it comes to gender in the workplace. Working moms exist, and so do stay-at-home dads.

Sharing Responsibilities

The idea of assigning work to certain sexes wasn’t practical to begin with since men and women are able-bodied to do any tasks. For instance, a 1992 study showed that 40% of men say they do house cleaning, while 2008 saw 53% of men doing the said chore. 

This reflects how views are becoming more accepting of men getting involved in cleaning, childcare, and cooking, which have been, in the past, largely associated to be the responsibilities of the housewife. The growing trend of men contributing to housework can be seen as a factor in letting women find work outside the home. 

Nowadays, working moms can worry less about their children and chores at home because more dads are shouldering the burden.

Leadership Roles For Women

With job opportunities such as STEM roles becoming more available to women, it’s no surprise then for studies showing more females getting into leadership roles. In the Software and IT Service industry alone, female leaders have increased by 27%. 

The Manufacturing industry shows similar results, with 26% more women managers currently working. Female leaders in the Hardware and Networking industry increased by 23%, while those in Public Safety increased by 21%. This shows that women are not only welcome in these sectors, but they are also seen as qualified to take on managerial or leadership roles. 

According to the study, the top skills required in these roles are business development, project management, government, and public speaking, among others. These are skills that involve commanding groups of people, which women can excel in indicated by the study.

Considering Other Factors

While the changing views on gender roles have highlighted more women getting into male-dominated roles, experts say that other factors need to be taken into account. This means looking beyond gender and taking factors like race and class into account. 

This will help give people a more realistic scope of what still needs to be done to close the gender gap in jobs. Regardless, there is hope that gender roles will continue to be challenged today onwards.

Changing Gender Roles

Gender roles have changed gradually in the past decades, resulting in working moms, stay-at-home dads, females in leadership positions, and roles that would have been deemed nontraditional before. Nowadays, sectors like STEM, public safety, manufacturing, and others feature more female workers than before. 

Meanwhile, public sentiments reflect how more men show no qualms doing housework to share responsibilities at home. If the trends are to be believed, this will only continue to go up from here. Soon, the idea of gender roles won’t be such an intriguing topic anymore because men and women can take on any work that fits their skills, be it cleaning at home or managing an office.

Resources – USA Today, Inc, American Association of University Women, The Balance Careers

How Gender Roles Are Changing Today
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