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Both men and women are moving into fields dominated by the other

2 minute read

The definition of “men’s roles” and “women’s roles” are starting to meld.

Every year, jobs traditionally held by one sex or another are becoming less pronounced as both genders move into fields typically dominated by the  other, CareerBuilder says. For example, more women are becoming lawyers and doctors while more men are increasingly cooks and educators.

“Nearly 1 in 4 of new jobs added in male-dominated occupations from 2009 to 2017 were taken by women,” the study says. “As it stands today, 23 percent of all male-dominated occupations are held by female workers. More women are breaking into roles ranging from CEOs, lawyers and surgeons to web developers, chemists and producers and directors.”

The study shows that general and operations managers added the most women — 84,523 — from 2009 to 2017. Team assemblers added more than 77,000 women, and management analysts added more than 41,000 women over the course of eight years.

Even strongly male-dominated sectors saw more women come into the force. Firefighters brought in 1,029 women in the same time frame and more than 10,000 women became coaches and scouts.

The men migration

While women were heading toward CEO and web developer, men were moving toward traditionally female-led jobs. The biggest jump came in retail: more than 218,000 men started jobs in this sector. Cooks also saw a huge spike, as there was a 64 percent increase of men, or 18,686 in the eight-year span.

Education saw a big increase in men, as more than 12,000 of them headed off to be administrators or teachers in both elementary and postsecondary school.

“Women and men are sidestepping preconceived notions and crossing over into roles that historically have been heavily populated by the opposite sex,” says Rosemary Haefner, chief human resources officer for CareerBuilder. “More men are moving into education and training, support roles and creative fields. While there is still room for improvement in terms of finding balance, there seems to be less gender bias when it comes to hiring and choosing career paths.”

Be prepared when heading into a new job

If you’re starting a new job and you aren’t sure how to look professional, you’ve got company.

Almost half of employees wish they had an assigned uniform at work, even though 56 percent of workers are hoping for a more casual look. As men and women head into roles traditionally made for the other, some may be confused on what is best for them to wear, especially if there aren’t any clear guidelines on attire.

Whatever you choose to wear — assigned or otherwise — stay clear of getting seriously sick at work. Many times, the stress at our jobs are sending us into illnesses that we have a hard time recovering from. Sometimes, it comes down to earning less than you can afford. If your salary is sub-par and you struggle to pay your bills on time, that will inhibit your health and your work. Remember that even as men and women start to meld roles together, that ladies still earn less (sometimes much less) than males for the same work.

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About the Author

Dori Zinn

Dori Zinn

Dori Zinn is a full-time freelance journalist based in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. She’s president of Blossomers Media, Inc., a web development and online media consulting company. Along with her work on, she’s been a longtime freelancer for Money Talks News — a personal and consumer finance website — and South Florida Gay News — the largest weekly LGBT newspaper in the South. Zinn has written for a variety of other publications, including Huffington Post, The Week, Quartz, Fort Lauderdale Magazine, Indulge, and

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