"Nontraditional" Roles for Women in the Workforce

Sometimes, it can feel like society pressures women to conform to occupations that apply to their “maternal instincts” or “emotional tendencies.” However, more and more women are entering the workforce through jobs that might be considered unconventional or nontraditional. The Department of Labor considers an occupation that has less than 25 percent women a male-dominated career, many of these belong in the construction and STEM fields.


Engineering: Peggy Johnson

Peggy Johnson earned her degree in electrical engineering from San Diego State University. She is now the executive vice president at Microsoft.

Engineering offers a broad range of branches from aeronautics to civil engineering, so responsibilities can vary quite drastically. To be considered a professional engineer, you need a bachelor’s degree in engineering — sometimes majoring in math is also acceptatble — and a state-issued license.   


Law/Attorney: Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has battled gender-bias all her life. RBG was one of nine women in her 500-student class at Harvard. She graduated at the top of her class, blazing trail for feminists in the legal sector.

To be an attorney, you most complete an undergraduate program, take the Law School Admissions Test (LSAT), earn a Juris Doctor degree by completing law school, and pass the Bar Examination.


Construction Trades: Louise Hardy   

Louise Hardy played a pivotal role managing the design and construction of Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, a sporting complex built for the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. The Olympics would not have been possible without Hardy.

There are many options other than project management in the construction trade. Carpenters, electricians, HVAC technicians are just a few examples.


Finance: Yie-Hsin Hung

Yie-Hsin Hung is the CEO of New York Life Investment Management. Thanks to her, the company has tripled their third-party assets to $300 billion in just six short years. Her efforts has drastically changed the company for the better.

Finance is a diverse field; there are many options for students who are trying to pursue a career in finance. Economics, statistics and business are all suitable degrees for those looking to work in finance. Depending on the specific occupation you’re aiming for, licenses and certifications may be necessary.


Long story short, don’t ever let someone tell you you can’t do something because of your gender. Being a woman shouldn’t be seen as a disadvantage, especially in the workforce. The only way to make society realize that is to prove it to them.