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The Dangers of Gendered Occupation

Traditionally, women have been stereotyped as caregivers, while men as breadwinners. This has led to some careers being associated with men or women, such as “midwife” and “mailman.” When society brands a job as feminine, its authority diminishes, and fewer men join the career. Masculine jobs are deemed to need more skills and pay more than jobs for women (Hedreen). There are no benefits to limiting jobs by gender since in this case, the other gender, though capable of performing well in the profession, may refrain from joining the field. Luckily, career perceptions are changing, and, therefore, more men are entering female-dominated careers and vice-versa. Hindrance to career perception change includes assigning gender to jobs and stereotyping women-dominated occupations as less credible.

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In the nursing profession, people have always felt the need to identify the gender of the nurse because it is rare to find male nurses in this “feminine profession.” Secretaries are also stereotyped as women, and according to Hedreen, women who initially wrote computer programs were called “computer girls.” Over the years, the term “secretary” has not changed, and it now encompasses both men and women. However, the term “computer girls” has changed to computer programmers to incorporate males. It is, therefore, irrelevant to brand professions as being for males or females.

Jobs associated with women are perceived as less credible because they supposedly require fewer skills and pay less. Male-dominated careers, on the other hand, are remunerated well and have more benefits (Hedreen). This occupational credibility has hindered career change perception, but as gender lines in professions blur, some professions stand to gain. For example, most people assume that investigators should be male, and therefore, if a female detective occupies this position, their work is likely to go unnoticed.

Society will need to stop assigning gender to occupations and change its perception of women’s careers as less credible. Research has shown that male nurses can take care of the sick and that both genders can also do computer programming. The stereotyping of females being caregivers and men being breadwinners should cease since all people can comfortably carry out tasks irrespective of their gender.

Work Cited

Hedreen, Siri. “The Dangers of Gendered Jobs.” Business News Daily, 2019, Web.

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