Many people only see non-traditional occupations as a women’s issue. However, a non-traditional occupation is defined as any occupation with less than 25% representation of a gender. This can apply to men and women. The trades, law enforcement, engineering and computer programming are included on a long list of occupations where women constitute less than a quarter of the workforce. Teaching, hospitality and administrative fields lack male presence and can also be considered non-traditional occupations.
Since women feel the majority of the brunt when it comes to filling these non-traditional occupations, a great number of programs, organizations and unions have been created to enable women in these fields. These programs, organizations and unions build relationships with other organizations and unions to offer their members the best resources, education and contacts in the industry. WINTER and NEW, two examples of these women’s organizations, create programs for young women where they can train for futures in the trades. These programs then place their “graduates” with responsible businesses within the network. If you are interested in pursuing a non-traditional occupation, check online for an organization within your area.
Like any occupation, there are pros and cons to the industry. Pros of a non-traditional industry include, but are not limited to:
- Pay: In non-traditional occupations, the minority gender can make from 20-30% more than in a traditional occupation.
- Benefits: Employment packages include some of the best insurance coverage plans in the nation, as an enticement for quality employees.
- Personal Happiness: The 6% of women that make up the percentage of ladies in non-traditional occupations express supreme happiness with their occupational choice. Mostly, they chose their profession off of their own personal interests and skills. Also, the sense of contributing to your family’s finances gives women a sense of pride and accomplishment.
Adversely, there can be a negative side to non-traditional occupations, such as:
- Friends and Family: Your support group may not understand your decision. If they are not as excited about it as you are, do not feel discouraged. They have been _programmed by society to pre-judge.
- Isolation: As a minority in your field, a sense of “isolation” or “not fitting in” is very common. However, you are not alone. There are many organizations and groups of _women to support and provide guidance.
- Greater risk for sexual harassment: Fortunately, we live in country with strong sexual harassment laws to protect us. Hopefully, you understand non-traditional occupations a bit better, realizing men and women experience this phenomenon.