Women Prove Gender Isn't A Barrier By Thriving In These 5 Careers

by Megan

As Women's History Month comes to a close, there is no better way to celebrate it than by discussing the progress women have made in the workplace. We haven't seen such a foray of women into primarily male-dominated industries since Rosie the Riveter's campaign.

Many of these jobs represent growth in gross national product, which necessitates hiring females. Here are five insights on how to break into these male-dominated industries:

1. Finance

Female accountants and finance workers are not unusual. There are a number of jobs available to females in the accounting industry and finance sector. However, many of these females are not adequately compensated, and close to 47 percent of them feel dissatisfied with the way the industry operates.

Many females find these roles attractive, so the finance industry will need to consider the adjustments that can be made to foster a better work environment for the growing female workforce.

2. Technology

Technology is traditionally dominated by males, but with the job growth in this sector, there are many opportunities for women. About 25 percent of the computing workforce is female.

Half of all tech users are women. Research shows that the industry will thrive even more with female influence, since 85 percent of purchasing decisions are determined by women.

Females can successfully engage in tech careers, despite its reputation of being an unwelcoming environment. Finding a mentor to help you, displaying confidence and learning everything and anything you can about the industry can only make you more powerful and knowledgeable. An important part of the continued growth and development of the tech industry is making the environment more inviting to females.

3. Construction

The construction industry has long been known as a male-dominated industry. Construction workers engage in many tasks that require physical strength, which can sometimes put females at a disadvantage. However, representatives in the construction industry say they are looking for females to fill construction roles.

Bryn Glover, who works at the construction equipment dealer, Johnson Machinery, has said, “It makes sense to look for women to fill roles in our industry that have been traditionally filled by men. Increasingly, women are becoming aware of the wide array of opportunities available to them in the construction industry and are going after them, which I think is an asset to both customers and employers.”

Close to 9 percent of construction workers are female. Attracting this key demographic to construction jobs is necessary to sustain operations in the future.

4. Engineering

Fostering change while breaking into this industry may be the key to an engineering career. It is similar to the tech industry in the sense that close to 40 percent of females in engineering are leaving the industry. Their departures are due, in part, to difficult work circumstances, but close to 62 percent continue to work in the field.

The growth of organizations such as IEEE Women in Engineering (WIE) and The Society of Women Engineers (SWE) — which seek to find and provide women with support, education and opportunities in the industry — means times are changing. With women joining the ranks of their male counterparts more often, opportunities from their diverse viewpoints only means the industry will continue to expand.

5. Mining

The mining industry has the lowest number of women on company boards as compared to any other industry worldwide. However, females are making tremendous strides to enter this industry.

Organizations like International Women in Mining (IWiM) look to support women entering the field. With the goal to increase women's participation in the field, the hope is to further balance gender and professional development opportunities.

For example, South African Mining Charter introduced a quota that requires 10 percent of all mining workers to be female. A study conducted at a South African mining operation by Women in Mining showed that their male counterparts are supportive of females in core and technical positions. There are also many other industry groups that support women in mining careers.

Tips for Breaking Into Male-Dominated Industries

Some of the characteristics needed to break into male-dominated roles may be unfamiliar to females. Reviewing the skill sets needed for these jobs and honing them is important to landing a role in a male-dominated field. Females have to stay ahead of the curve so they can flourish in these roles.

Proving your skills and abilities is an important first step to diffusing any negative environmental comments. Setting yourself apart will help you secure a role in a male-dominated industry. After all, men aren't the only ones who can create rivets.