If you ask Google what a taxi driver or construction laborer looks like, you’ll see a plethora of images of men hanging out the driver’s side windows of bright yellow sedans or stern faces under hard hats. Google clearly has to catch up with recent employment statistics.
SmartAsset analyzed employment data from 2014 and compared it to 2018. It revealed that these two occupations showed the greatest percentage of change in the number of women holding those jobs. In fact, nearly the entire top 10 was made up of jobs that were traditionally held by men.
- Taxi drivers and chauffeurs
- Construction laborers
- Industrial engineers
- Couriers and messengers
- Nurse practitioners (tie)
- Architects (tie)
- Physician assistants
- Construction managers
- Nonfarm animal caretakers
The rise of female workers in the top sectors has more to do with flexibility than wages. Drivers and couriers can set their own hours, which allow women responsible for caring for family members and children the ability to work around those schedules. Flexible hours come at a price, though. Taxi drivers represent one of the occupations with the largest gender pay gap in the United States, and couriers are low-wage earners.
Despite the growth in certain job categories, gender parity is still elusive in many sectors. The construction industry, for example, continues to be male-dominated. Although healthcare jobs such as veterinarian, nurse practitioner, and physician assistant are still heavily skewed toward female workers, they are compensated well. The median wage for an animal doctor is over $90,000 per year.
One thing that has remained unchanged is that women still make up nearly half of the entire workforce in the U.S. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 46.9% of total workers are women over the past four years.