March 11, 2017

"Over the last 15 years, according to a new study, men have been as likely to move into predominantly female jobs as the other way around — but not all men."

"It’s those who are already disadvantaged in the labor market: black, Hispanic, less educated, poor and immigrant men. While work done by women continues to be valued less, the study demonstrates, job opportunities divide not just along gender lines but also by race and class."

Maybe these are just worse jobs. Why would you expect better educated people with a more advantageous upbringing to take these jobs? The equalization between men and women happens as women with the same talent, industriousness, and education have access to the same good jobs men have had.

But there is, I assume, something of a problem that difficult jobs that attracted women paid worse because women tended to accept lower pay. This problem should not be over-stated however. Some of the women-associated jobs are safer and easier. There's no reason to expect those jobs to pay more.

Anyway... I'm not doctrinaire on this subject, just putting it into play for you to discuss.

59 comments:

madAsHell said...

Is there nothing that a study can't prove??

rhhardin said...

It's not valued less. It pays less.

You're always valued more than you're paid or you lose your job.

Then there's valued by who. You can't raise the question if you want to do the "valued less" meme.

Michael K said...

“More privileged men can resist entry into predominantly female occupations more readily than their less privileged counterparts,” said Patricia A. Roos, a sociologist at Rutgers,

Weird statement only a female Sociologist could make.

How does she define "More privileged?" Did not major in "Women's Studies ?"

Bob Ellison said...

"But there is, I assume, something of a problem that difficult jobs that attracted women paid worse because women tended to accept lower pay."

I don't assume that, but I think it's true. Women, in the aggregate, (I'll assume heretofore that everything I say is "in the aggregate"), probably tend toward jobs that are more satisfactory to them for reasons other than just money. Men probably tend toward jobs where the money's better.

If true, these things would help explain why men take riskier jobs like oil mining, and women with great potential sometimes settle as secretaries when the office has a pleasant working environment.

If I could draw, I'd try to graph this. As work becomes crappier and more risky, but more bountiful, men tend toward them. As work becomes more pleasant and more palatable, but less bountiful, women tend toward them.

I hope someone tries to argue against these notions.

West Texas Intermediate Crude said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
West Texas Intermediate Crude said...

Women do not take dirty, dangerous, or physically demanding jobs (as a rule- of course there are exceptions, but they are statistically unusual).
Why?
Because, traditionally, even if they are physically capable of working with heavy equipment, carrying heavy loads, or willing to work in mining or other dangerous occupations, they have not had to.
Women, until the past 2 generations, have had the option to marry, be a mother and homemaker, and let their men's pride and self-respect provide the bread to be won.
Now, because fish don't need bicycles, women are starting to take those dirty, dangerous, or physically demanding jobs.
They will never catch up to men, because some/many women will continue in the traditional way.
It's really not a problem.

Hagar said...

For some people, everything is a problem.

Laurel Lowrey said...

1. The single most important 'job' women (Most? Many?) do is motherhood. The 'exceptional' are always the exception.

We - or any society - exists because enough women 'took' this job in generations past.

2. MOST men perform necessary, but unexciting, jobs; think janitors v astronauts.
2a. MOST women, perforce, will also enter the workforce in this category. Think: cube rat v astronaut.
The world will not run on a surplus of janitors or cube rats. Nope. Can't do it. Wouldn't be prudent.

Ergo, the solution is a return to step 1.

kentuckyliz said...

Allied health support jobs pay well, short training, good benefits, good growth and stability in the economy right now. I can see how that would attract men. I work at a community/technical college and see more men applying to the allied health programs.

Fernandinande said...

Michael K said...
How does she define "More privileged?"


I take it to mean "more qualified" but with the "you didn't build that" attitude; they're more qualified because they're lucky, not because of anything they did. "Privilege" is a signaling word.

Laurel Lowrey said...
MOST men perform necessary, but unexciting, jobs; think janitors v astronauts.


And yet all white men are bank presidents AND astronauts.

buwaya said...

True re health support jobs.
There is a demand.
I used to know a fellow who was a recruiter for these.
Remarkably hard to find personnel for local Bay Area employers, as they dont pay well enough vs the local cost of living.

Fernandinande said...

"More privileged" white men.

Earnest Prole said...

Jobs divide along class. Who knew?

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

There are jobs men basically can't get into (e.g., elementary school teaching). There are jobs women gravitate towards (e.g., a lot of government work -- the USPS, the DMV, &c.) Those disparities aren't going away, unless someone comes along and forcibly fixes them. I personally would love to know what fraction of the unionized public sector is female. I am guessing 80%.

bagoh20 said...

The assumed problem of disparity in work chosen by women can only be solved by not giving them a choice.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

Laurel Lowrey,

With "wouldn't be prudent," you're showing your age :-)

bagoh20 said...

In America, it's also true that class is determined by what work you choose.

Michael K said...

I am moving into a female job today as I am baking rye bread, made from scratch.

Not the first time as I do it every four years, just like clockwork.

I will report after eating tonight. With beer and sausage.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

bagoh20, Sure. Let's not give them (er, and by "them" I'm including myself, naturally) a choice. That would naturally mean not giving men a choice, either. Send (some of) the Delicate Women to the mines and the oil rigs and the road repair, and send (some of) the Burly Men to the Postal Service and the DMV and elder care. Mix it all up.

I don't actually mean this, understand; I just want it understood that there are zero guaranteed jobs outside the NEA/AFT/SEIU ambit.

Bob Boyd said...

If Millennials Were Lumberjacks

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DlTGRlF_zSI

Achilles said...

This topic has been beaten to death.

In the web design world there are coders and designers.

Coding is tedious and irritating. Coders are like offensive linemen, only noticed when they mess up.

Designers make things look good although there is more tedium in the job than you would expect.

Guess where the genders end up. Graphic design will be one of the last 2 jobs you can get in this world so it would be a good choice of career if you want to be one of the last people actually doing stuff.

Crazy Jane said...

Women gravitate toward jobs that require official permission. Nursing degrees, teaching certificates, CPA exams, bar exams, cosmetology licenses. Or maybe regulators just like bossing women around more.

Achilles said...

bagoh20 said...
The assumed problem of disparity in work chosen by women can only be solved by not giving them a choice.

This is what all of the left's efforts revolve around in the end. They hate it when people choose to do things they shouldn't be doing.

David53 said...

@Michelle,

"There are jobs men basically can't get into (e.g., elementary school teaching)."

I disagree, I taught 4th grade for several years, never had a problem finding a job. Elementary school principals are always on the lookout for good male teachers/role models. What is rare is the male kinder or 1st grade teacher. They are rare because working with children that age is so physically and emotionally taxing. It's like herding cats, for whatever reason more women are willing to be cat herders than men.

n.n said...

But not all men, and not all women, and not in the same context.

Disadvantaged with cause, including: urban blight, immigration reform, and educational progress (e.g. affirmative action).

Fake news.

Michael K said...

"What is rare is the male kinder or 1st grade teacher."

I admire your courage. I would not be an elementary school teach for anything. My youngest daughter's favorite 8th grade teacher was a man but it was a private school and his wife was also a teacher there.

There was a case in Orange County recently where a middle school teacher was accused by three girls of sexual abuse. It turned out that they had done so out of anger that he scolded them for not getting dressed for gym class.

He still ended up going to trial where they finally admitted the lie.

Gospace said...

Michael K said...
"What is rare is the male kinder or 1st grade teacher."
...
There was a case in Orange County recently where a middle school teacher was accused by three girls of sexual abuse. It turned out that they had done so out of anger that he scolded them for not getting dressed for gym class.

He still ended up going to trial where they finally admitted the lie.


In our small rural school system the same scenario sans trial. The teacher, suspended without pay for 1½ years, got all hi back pay, and was restored to teaching. Well, sort of. He said, "Screw this!" and took retirement as he was more then old enough with more then enough time. But young and spry enough that he could have gone on teaching for years. And would have but it was no longer fun.

And it's why in 1994 when I retired from active duty I didn't even consider going into teaching.

Lewis Wetzel said...

bagoh20 said...
The assumed problem of disparity in work chosen by women can only be solved by not giving them a choice.

3/11/17, 11:36 AM


Your freedom is their enemy. Same-sex marriage is giving same sex couples and their backers the right to make you acknowledge the same sex marriage. It is meaningless if you can't force people to recognize the marriage.

Bay Area Guy said...

I think it's an outrage that we don't have more female plumbers. Historically, male plumbers have systematically excluded females from the field.

We should protest to get more female plumbers. This male plumbing privilege must end now!

Bob Loblaw said...

Now, because fish don't need bicycles, women are starting to take those dirty, dangerous, or physically demanding jobs.
They will never catch up to men, because some/many women will continue in the traditional way.


It's more than that. The average woman isn't suited physically for a lot of those jobs. My brother-in-law does construction. He lifts and carries bags of cement, heavy tool chests, lumber... you name it. By the time he gets off work his (rather larger) muscles are sore.

For most women doing his job the way he does it would be physiologically impossible (couldn't do it either, at my age) - they simply don't have the upper body strength. Of course his employer could set up cranes, lifts, carts and other machines to take the muscle power out, but the job would take twice as long to complete.

David53 said...

"...middle school teacher was accused by three girls of sexual abuse..."

I was a member of the NEA back then, not that I had to or wanted to join, but it was the only place I could get cheap Educators Employment Liability (EEL) insurance to protect me from a situation like that. I hated having to pay them money.

campy said...

Elementary school principals are always on the lookout for good male teachers/role models.

Yeah, every elementary school needs one male teacher who will be given *all* the kids with disciplinary problems.

Bob Ellison said...

Michelle, I'd echo David53's thoughts. I know a few male elementary-school teachers, and they tell me they basically can't keep up with demand for their classrooms, especially from single moms who want "male role models" for their kids. Most of us men aren't brave enough to try it, though.

David53 said...

@campy

"Yeah, every elementary school needs one male teacher who will be given *all* the kids with disciplinary problems."

Yeah, that's what happens, some of the problems I inherited I feel I helped, others were beyond my ability to reach. Those kids usually ended up in alternative schools which are a whole other story.

Michael K said...

"This male plumbing privilege must end now!"

Hear Hear !

I'm for cleaner butt cracks.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

David53, Bob Ellison,

Yes, male elementary school teachers exist, and are even in demand -- from parents, not administrators. But you must admit that they are a tiny fraction of the teaching staff.

rhhardin said...

Coding is tedious and irritating.

Just the opposite. It's a splended thing.

1963 homework assignment on IBM 7090.

Modern C program for freeing a tree without recursion.

Gospace said...

Bob Ellison said...
Michelle, I'd echo David53's thoughts. I know a few male elementary-school teachers, and they tell me they basically can't keep up with demand for their classrooms, especially from single moms who want "male role models" for their kids. Most of us men aren't brave enough to try it, though.


I have 4 boys. All 4 were in Boy Scouts. The oldest 3 were in Cub Scouts. When my youngest was Cub Scout age, started up with a Tiger Cub Den. I was the only father. My wife and I the only married couple. 6 or 7 single moms looking at me to be the male role model for their kids. And most of them couldn't figure out how to commit getting their kid to one meeting a week since they had to participate. Lasted 6 weeks with him in Cubs before we pulled out and explained to the District Executive why. I was the local troop Scoutmaster at the time. Youngest just made Eagle, and I've stepped down to Assistant Scoutmaster. In the last 20 years have had a large variety of kids as far as personalities and interests and smarts or lack thereof who've made Eagle. They've all had one thing in common. They lived with their married mom and dad. Not step-mom and dad or mom and step-dad, or mom or dad by themselves, or mom and dad living together sans marriage. Though there have been Scouts in the troop during that time with every one of those scenarios, only one family arrangement has produced Scouts with the wherewithal to make Eagle. Scouting is large enough that I'm sure there are Eagle Scouts with other family arrangements, but I suspect they're a small minority. I do have one Scout I'm hopeful for who is living with grandma and grandpa. And no, I don't know the story behind that and haven't asked. None of my business.

Bob Loblaw said...

Coding is tedious and irritating.

I wouldn't say that. Coding is like tinkering in the garage without the grease stains and sawdust. To do it full time, though, you have to be the sort of person who doesn't need a lot of human interaction.

Hagar said...

OTOH, on one of my jobs, the superintendent was on the outs with the company management, so they would not send him labor. Rosie the flaglady said she would like to work for him and she thought some of her girl friends would too. So, the Old Doubledipper taught Rosie to drive a Cat 988 while her girlfriends worked the jackhammers. Those were big jackhammers so they could only stand it for 15-20 minutes at a time, but they worked out a system for spelling each other out, and it worked just fine. The girls loved the money they were making plus the novelty, and the superintendent loved it because he could show them what to do and then go off to deliver the timesheets to the office or whatever, and when he got back 2-3 hours later, they were still doing exactly what he had told them to do, while with male labor he could not turn his back on them for 15 minutes before someone would think of some other (but not better) way to do it.

Mark said...

The fact is that many "predominantly female jobs" require a fairly high degree of education, such as teaching or nursing.

What kind of "predominantly female jobs" involve unskilled labor, the kind of job that a low-educated person might get (and low education quite possibly due to being poor and/or immigrant and/or a minority who is consigned by liberal government to failing government-run (public) schools)?

Most of the unskilled labor that women might do, men already do, such as picking crops or cleaning. Some of the other unskilled or low-skilled labor that women do, such as child-care or nurses aides, etc., require some measure of demonstrated security, which undocumented people cannot provide.

Mark said...

The fact is that many "predominantly female jobs" require a fairly high degree of education, such as teaching or nursing

Clerical work too requires some substantive education -- unless that clerical job is with the government bureaucracy for which there is no minimum level of incompetence that will suffice.

tcrosse said...

Coding is tedious and irritating.

Users are tedious and irritating.
The trouble with coding is that it's susceptible to being outsourced to someplace like Mumbai, or to H1B Visa holders.

Nyamujal said...

The argument here is that some blue collar workers who have lost their jobs over the past few decades should give these "pink" jobs some serious consideration. Megan McArdle talks about it here: https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2017-01-06/some-blue-collar-workers-probably-shouldn-t-do-pink-jobs
Black and Hispanic men don't really have a problem doing some of these jobs. I've definitely come across a lot of non-white aides in hospitals and nursing homes. Some of these jobs pay just as well as manufacturing jobs and tend to be pretty stable...

Tari said...

It's so sad that we have come to view teaching children as "women's work". For centuries, boys learned from men, either at home, in a school (or school-like) setting, or as an apprentice. That's what boys need. It may not be what (usually female) school administrators want to admit, but it's true. Those single moms trying to show up for Gospace's Cubs Scout meetings know it; we all know it's true.

Our younger son's (Catholic) school deliberately hires only male teachers. The boys (3rd-8th grade) need as many good role models as they can get. The fact that the majority of the boys come from intact, traditional families doesn't change that.

Bob Ellison said...

The trouble with coding is that the coder must keep the user in mind, all of the time.*

I once saw a coder put up a click-to-type control of the English alphabet. It made perfect sense to that coder that 26 characters would fit nicely into a 5X6 box, with a few left over for a space, a period, and maybe two other thingies.

That's bad UI coding. The trouble with deeply serious coding, the type where you're crunching numbers at the atomic level, is something beyond me. There are people who can do it well, and they are difficult to find. But even those coders have to figure out how do to it in a way that future engineers and co-developers (users) can figure out.

*I should try to copyright that sentence.

Hagar said...

The ladies also lost some weight working those jackhammers in the summer heat, and they loved that too.

Bob Ellison said...

Hagar, phrasing!

Bob Ellison said...

I'm gonna make that Bob's Fifth Law:

The trouble with coding is that the coder must keep the user in mind, all of the time.

Hat tip to tcrosse for the inspiration.

Nyamujal said...

The trouble with coding is that the coder must keep the user in mind, all of the time.*

May I add that the coder must also keep future coders in mind. Poorly commented and structured code can lead to days of frustration for anyone who wants to update or maintain it in the future.

Bad Lieutenant said...


May I add that the coder must also keep future coders in mind. Poorly commented and structured code can lead to days of frustration for anyone who wants to update or maintain it in the future.
3/11/17, 5:59 PM

You mean, after you fire the first guy? Tough to manage the incentives. Nobody wants to document. Nobody wants to work clean. Some places fight that, some places feed it. I think the Europeans are more likely to do the latter.

Fabi said...

"I'm for cleaner butt cracks."

One of the few issues enjoying bipartisan support.

Nyamujal said...

"You mean, after you fire the first guy? Tough to manage the incentives. Nobody wants to document. Nobody wants to work clean. Some places fight that, some places feed it."

Or after the first guys gets hit by a bus, leaves the company, or just refuses to give a fuck anymore.

"I think the Europeans are more likely to do the latter."

Have you really worked with Europeans? Have you ever worked with the French or the Italians?

Bob Ellison said...

Nyamujal, you are correct. As I said earlier: "But even those coders have to figure out how do to it in a way that future engineers and co-developers (users) can figure out."

It's a good rule of thumb that works out for all products, and not just code. Think about what the next person will have to do with your product, or to it. Basic quality engineering.

This is not instinctive thinking. It must be learned and taught. Furthermore, producers must believe that thinking this way is good for their business. Johnson and Johnson Tylenol recall, etc.

Achilles said...

Bob Ellison said...

Michelle, I'd echo David53's thoughts. I know a few male elementary-school teachers, and they tell me they basically can't keep up with demand for their classrooms, especially from single moms who want "male role models" for their kids. Most of us men aren't brave enough to try it, though.

The kids were great. It was the other(female) teachers that were the sticking point.

Achilles said...

Nyamujal said...

May I add that the coder must also keep future coders in mind. Poorly commented and structured code can lead to days of frustration for anyone who wants to update or maintain it in the future.

Relatively new to coding in general but one thing I have heard is that a bad coder is a job creator. Someone posted a compilation of late night pull requests. That was entertaining.

This seems very analogous to fixing up old houses as well. Often it takes less time to gut it and start fresh. Cleaning up peoples failure is no fun.

stlcdr said...

Teaching (and nursing) used to be women's work. Way back when; it was the only job women were 'allowed' to do.

Based on the (fair) assumption that women and men are of equal intelligence, skill, and other measurements that don't require the differences between men and women, the brightest and most skilllful women used to be teachers; they had few options. They were good at it, not because they were women, but because they are the best and brightest.

Now, those very same women are doing things that really stretch their skill set, often in areas that used to be dominated by men (and often not very smart men). I see them thriving, if not at least doing pretty much ok. In the real world, there is very little oppression of women for jobs (my world is heavy industry; not typically female friendly. Yet there does not appear to be any sexual discrimination; people are graded on ability).

So, things are fine...except in schools. Teaching is not an industry which attracts the best or brightest - of either sex. Over several decades, schools have degraded because of this loss. (That's not to say bright and smart teachers don't exist, just in any field, but they are rare).

Bad Lieutenant said...

"I think the Europeans are more likely to do the latter."

Have you really worked with Europeans? Have you ever worked with the French or the Italians?
3/11/17, 6:32 PM

French and Swiss banks, yes. What, you think I'm making it up? Some people hoard knowledge so you have to come to them. I should say, not all the malefactors are European, but In my experience, American or Anglo institutions (if PwC is British) understand the problem and try to deal with it. Knowledge management initiatives, runbooks and such.

Yes, it is surely desirable to have clean well commented well documented systems. For all those reasons. Even, if you can't be replaced, you can't be promoted. I'm not telling you what makes sense or what is right, I'm telling you what I've seen in my career.

Sammy Finkelman said...

difficult jobs that attracted women paid worse because women tended to accept lower pay

That's still true. That will probably always be true. Women also probably take jobs that involve less commuting time.