“We need a massive […] effort to get men to move into jobs in the growing fields of health, education, administration, and literacy (HEAL), equivalent to the successful campaign to get women into STEM.”
“First, given the decline in traditional male occupations, men need to look to these sectors for jobs. Blue collar jobs are disappearing. There will be more STEM jobs, too — but these are much smaller occupations. #STEM accounts for only about 7% of all jobs, compared to 23% in HEAL.”
“The second reason […] is to help meet labor shortages in critical occupations. Almost half of all registered nurses are now over the age of 50. […] We face labor shortages in two of the largest and most important sectors of our economy — health care and #education. But we are trying to solve them with only half the workforce.”
“The third argument […] is to provide a better service to #boys and men. Many would prefer to be cared for by a man, especially in certain circumstances. Consider the case of a man in need of help using the bathroom in a hospital or care home, or the middle-aged man needing a therapist to help with his addiction to pornography, or the fatherless teenage boy needing help from a psychologist with their substance abuse. It is not ideal if most substance abuse counselors are women (76%) when most substance abusers are men (67%), or that most special education teachers are women (84%) when most students being referred to special education are male (64%).”
“Getting more men into HEAL occupations would be good for men, good for the professions, and good for clients — a win-win-win.”
@tripu Interesting. As a computer science professor, I might be said to be at the intersection of STEM and HEAL.
A key point in the article is that “some HEAL jobs do not pay that well.” Given the numbers Reeves lists, it would not be much of an exaggeration to say that the highest-paying jobs in HEAL pay less than the lowest-paying jobs in STEM.
I think the “E” in #HEAL stands for low- and mid-level #education specifically — the sex ratio for college professors like yourself isn’t as skewed as it is for kindergarten educators, etc (right?). Anyway, if we project current trends half a generation into the future, higher education will be clearly female-dominated, too — if it isn’t already.
I suspect that particular statement (highest-paying HEAL still being below lowest-paying STEM) is false. We’re talking attorneys, surgeons and psychiatrist vs. sound engineers, lab technicians and zoologists. Clearly the former make more money than the latter.
@tripu Yes, higher ed is very different from K-12, both in terms of pay and gender ratio. I make much more than a public school teacher and vastly less than I would as a software developer.
I agree that my statement is almost certainly not literally true. Still, I think I’ve had students going into the tech industry right out of college that make more than some of the “good pay” salaries listed in the article.
In any case, I think all dimensions matter: no. of jobs available, average salaries, career prospects, work hazards, prestige, and social influence. The push for female STEM was mostly predicated on the basis that those were the jobs of the future. When someone points out that “STEM accounts for only about 7% of all jobs, compared to 23% in HEAL” (ie, that HEAL is very much the jobs of the present and of the foreseeable future), the conversation suddenly shifts to salaries.
We should agree on what characteristics make a profession good or desirable first, and only then discuss the distribution by sex (or age, race, whatever).
Otherwise, nobody ever pays attention to the fact that many male-dominated professions probably aren’t so desirable after all because they’re dangerous (drivers, construction workers, electricians), are hated or held in low esteem by many in society (policemen, politicians), are extremely rare (ministers, CEOs, PMs), or pay very poorly (janitors, bouncers).
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