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Web magazine, 22 November 2005 14:00

Top ten male and female dominated occupations

In 2004 various occupations were still almost completely male or female dominated. These are mainly low-level and medium-level occupations. Men dominate in construction and engineering, women in care and office jobs. In higher and academic level positions, men and women are more often represented equally. This pattern of employment has hardly changed over the last years.

Construction and engineering male strongholds

Occupations with a very poor representation of women are found in the sectors construction and engineering, for instance central heating installer and car mechanic. Female lorry drivers are also very rare. The share of women in male-dominated occupations is very low. In the top ten of male-dominated occupations more than 99 percent were men.

Male-dominated occupations by share of women, 2004

Male-dominated occupations by share of women, 2004

The male-dominated top ten includes six occupations at lower level and four at medium level. The composition of the top ten has been very consistent over the years. Compared to 1996, forklift operators and lift installers have dropped out of the top ten and have been replaced by pavers/excavation workers and welders/solderers.

Women mainly employed in care and office jobs

The top ten of female occupations reveals that women typically work in clerical and caring occupations: medical receptionists, student nurses, home helps, care for the sick and the elderly and as (executive) secretaries. Men are relatively more often employed in typically female occupations than vice versa. Some 6 percent of people employed in care for the elderly, the mentally handicapped and the sick were males.

Female-dominated occupations by share of men, 2004

Female-dominated occupations by share of men, 2004

The female employment pattern also hardly changed since 1996. In the top ten of female-dominated occupations, nurses (medium level), supermarket till assistants and receptionists have been ousted by executive secretaries, chemist’s assistants and medical receptionists. The top ten of female occupations covers two occupations at lower level and eight at medium level.

Men and women more equally distributed across higher-level occupations

Half of occupations where men and women are more or less equally represented are at higher or academic level. The most balanced gender distribution was found among marketing advisers/specialists and, to a lesser degree, among graphic designers, policy-makers in environmental planning, higher administrative assistants and lawyers, judges and notaries public.

Occupational groups with a balanced gender distribution, 2004

Occupational groups with a balanced gender distribution, 2004

In the top ten with a balanced gender distribution in 2004, there were four occupations at medium level against one at elementary level (packer). Balanced gender distribution mainly applies to higher-level professions.

Ingrid Beckers

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