CHALLENGING THE NORM
MEN often can be discouraged from traditionally femaledominated careers but challenging stereotypes can actually work in their favour. Just as women in male-dominated sectors can take advantage of gender balance policies, so too can men in fields such as nursing, teaching, social work and care.
A study led by University of Queensland School of Psychology researcher Dr Courtney von Hippel finds men working in “pink-collar” professions may be vulnerable to negative gender stereotypes.
“Nurses, primary school teachers and child protection workers are meant to be gentle and nurturing, traits that are stereotypic of women but not men,” she says. “Stereotypes about men suggest they are unlikely to have the necessary traits to succeed in pink-collar jobs, in which such stereotypically female traits are thought to be critical for success.
“Not only are men assumed to lack these feminine traits, but they are stereotyped as aggressive, dominant and competitive – traits that are problematic in many pink-collar jobs.”
Despite the potential issues, males in these industries often excel in comparison to their female counterparts. While males make up 32.9 per cent of sales assistants, they make up 51.7 per cent of retail managers, figures from the Employment Department show.
Although just 6 per cent of child carers are males, this figure jumps to 13 per cent for child care centre managers. They make up just 14 per cent of primary school teachers and 38 per cent of high school teachers but 43 per cent of school principals.
Female-dominated roles also are less likely to be automated as many rely on human interaction, making pink-collar industries a potentially more secure career choice.
AlphaBeta report The Automation Advantage predicts jobs that largely comprise interpersonal tasks, creative and decision-making tasks and information synthesis are least automatable. Nurses, teachers and carers are all among the workers who are at lowest risk of automation.
NOT PUT OFF: Assistant principal Liam Beatty working with students Angus Jones and Sophie Rimmer.