Women Doing Men’s Work

by +Tricia on July 27, 2011

Should there be a line drawn in the sand when it comes to women doing men’s work? The question is thought-provoking and has been argued on many sides. While all arguments have their legitimacies, the reality of the situation is that women do work at men’s job every day. Each argument has its pros and cons. An examination of these advantages and disadvantages are listed:

Background

Before the United States entered World War II, several companies had contracted the government to produce war equipment for the allies. Unexpectedly the United States found itself in the midst of a war and had to speed up production of war supplies. With men being recruited for service the women had to be employed into many of the factories that had to fulfill large obligatory contracts. This was the test of women working in men’s jobs that opened doors for females that are still open today.

Pros of Women Working Men’s Job

• Women seek men’s jobs because of the higher pay and greater benefits. The pay is typically much higher in careers where men dominate; thus, a woman will have the potential to make more money.

• In today’s job market, many companies are seeking to increase diversity in the workplace; therefore, availing more management positions to women.

• The old stereotype that was once placed on women about doing men’s work is overall becoming extinct. Now men are accepting women in the workplace in positions that were once dominated by males.

• Men’s jobs are a good place to find a husband if you are single.

Cons of Women Working Men’s Job

• Some male jobs require shift work. This places a woman in a difficult spot especially if she is a single mother. She has to find a babysitter who will be willing to keep her kids for every shift. Some worry about balancing the job with being a mother, wife, as well as an employee.

• A woman working in a man’s job can oftentimes be viewed as taking the “spot” reserved for someone else or as a token worker hired to avoid lawsuits or appease special-interest groups. This in turn can result in negative feelings expressed through sexual harassment.

• Women working in men’s job think that they have to work that much harder to prove themselves. They have to endure a day’s work without being made to feel uncomfortable.

• Respect is hard to achieve on these types of jobs where men make sexist comments. They also have to occupy the same eating areas where oftentimes they are amid distasteful pictures on the walls or where lewd magazines are spread out on the tables.

• Promotions for women can sometimes be greeted with accusations of sexism.

• A woman can not discuss her personal female problems in a male setting or to a male manager.

Regardless of these cons, women of the twenty first century seem to be bold enough to face such challenges, not only to achieve financial stability but more importantly, to have a sense of freedom and fulfillment in the workplace.

This guest article was contributed by Jennifer Bell from Health Training Guide. Check out her site to learn more about gerontology training and other exciting health careers.

Above photo credit: muyfifi

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

hedy July 27, 2011 at 9:06 pm

I’m embarassed to be blogging on a site which publishes druvel such as this post:
1. I find the very idea of there being “men’s jobs” and “women’s jobs” offensive. To quote Gloria Steinem “There are really not many jobs that actually require a penis or a vagina, and all other occupations should be open to everyone.”
2. “Some male jobs require shift work.” Firstly, I am annoyed by the belief that being female equates being a mother. Secondly, why isn’t finding childcare a concern for anyone who works a non-traditional schedule. Rather than sighing over this issue, why not spend the energy fighting for universal child care?
3. I’m boggled as to why issues regarding sexual harassment ans sexism are the woman’s problem. Why not work on raising men (as this post seems to be directed at parents) and supporting partners who are neither sexist nor engage in sexual harassment?

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