Toolbelts and Hard Hats: The Road to Female Financial Freedom?

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

The American workforce is still surprisingly segregated by gender, and this separation does not seem to benefit women. Two-thirds of working women are concentrated in only five percent of occupational categories. And in the few fields where more than 90 percent of workers are women – like childcare and food preparation – the pay tends to be low. Compare this low pay to male-dominated industries (there are a lot of them). Almost one in four job categories, such as construction work and trucking consist of workforces that are almost exclusively male. And those same jobs pay up to 30 percent more than traditionally female jobs like secretarial work.

Considering this, why aren’t more women pursuing higher paying, blue-collar jobs in male-dominated fields as a career? And for those interested in doing so, what can they do to make that move? Our workplace contributor Beth Kobliner, author of “Get a Financial Life,” explains. And Rochelle James, a female union electrician in New York, shares her own career change.

Guests:

Rochelle James

Produced by:

Kristen Meinzer

Contributors:

Beth Kobliner

Comments [6]

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Jun. 04 2012 03:50 AM
Jane LaTour from New York City WNYC/NPR

Dear Folks:

I loved your segment on "toolbelts and hard hats" and posted it on my Facebook page. I also sent a copy of my book, "Sisters in the Brotherhoods," to Lynn S., since I end my book with a quote from her memoir and really think she would appreciate it. But NPR returned the package, writing on it: "Not at this address." I had hoped that they would forward it.

If you send me Lynn's address via my e-mail address, I will mail it to her once again. Many thanks for the great coverage of women working in the blue-collar skilled, "nontraditional jobs."

Jane LaTour

Jun. 21 2010 05:17 PM
Rochelle James from New York

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Jun. 08 2010 09:27 AM

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