Fastest-growing jobs for women

July 22, 2010

Using job-growth projections from 2008 to 2018, and factoring in fields that are comprised of 70% or more women, a researcher has come up with a list of the top 20 jobs that will be in demand over the next 10 years and are attractive to women seeking job flexibility. Health care jobs dominate this ranking, as a listing of these jobs in Forbes magazine illustrates. For women concerned about their job security in these difficult times of recession, paying close attention to these trends is important.

However, most of the jobs on this list do not pay very well, and they also do not account for opportunities in male-dominated industries that may offer better earning potential and interesting, less traditional career paths. One bittersweet  lesson may be that seeking job flexibility in traditionally female-dominated fields will certainly hurt the paycheck!

Mixed trends in women’s earnings data

July 11, 2010

This June, the U.S. Department of Labor released an interesting and thought-provoking summary of data on women’s earnings in 2009. While the report finds that American women still earn only 80%¬† of what their male counterparts make, it also reports on some variations within this gap as well as encouraging trends for the female workforce.

The report finds that between 1979 and 2009, the earnings gap narrowed for most age groups. And it records a significant geographic dimension, with the ratio of female to male earnings being just 65% in Louisiana, compared to 97% in Washington, DC. Moreover, female part time workers’ weekly median earnings were slightly higher than those of their male counterparts, at $229 compared to $222 for men. Ye even though women out-earn men in part time work, women are also far more likely to work part time where benefits and job security are lower. And male part time workers are more likely to be in the youngest age groups, where earnings are typically lower. While these men eventually transition from part time to full time, fewer women do so as they age. In sum, while the latest employment figures indicate some encouraging progress, there is still a long way to go before full equality is reached.

A toolkit for women seeking a raise

May 17, 2010

An interesting new article in the New York Times puts the spotlight on the issue of the continued gender pay gap and what happens when women seek a raise. Women in the United States still make only 77 cents for every dollar made by men. The earnings disparity is evident in many other countries, despite women’s educational advancements. One key issue – women are less likely to ask for a raise. The article points to several underlying issues, including the fact that women may have lower expectations and men are more likely to negotiate higher starting salaries. But women in the workforce can use specific tools to remedy this situation. This includes doing research on industry salary trends and coming to the negotiation armed with numbers, or approaching the boss at an opportune time to ask for a raise. Negotiations are not always comfortable – but the overall results may be well worth it!


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