By Joan Runnheim Olson
I came across the following information on the Iseek website (http://www.iseek.org/careers/skillsets.html) and found it quite interesting. Job requirements have little or nothing to do with gender. In fact, skill requirements in male- and female-dominated occupations are often more similar than you might expect.
Different Genders, Same Skills. People sometimes avoid non-traditional careers because they're thinking about who works in the occupation and not what the job would actually be like. But did you know that some male-dominated careers use the same skills as some female-dominated fields?
Skill Profiles. Skill Profiles are graphs of which skills are most or least required by occupations. You can learn about how similar occupations are to each other by comparing their skill profiles. You may find some surprises, such as: The skill profile for Registered Nurses (92% female) is similar to the skill profile for Civil Engineers (11% female) (http://www.iseek.org/iseek/static/rn_engineer.pdf). The skill profile for Construction Managers (6% female) is similar to the skill profile for Meeting & Convention Planners (80% female) (http://www.iseek.org/iseek/static/construction_planners_chart.pdf). The skill profile for Firefighters (4% female) is similar to the skill profile for Personal & Home Care Aides (87% female) (http://www.iseek.org/iseek/static/fire_homecare_chart.pdf).
Strength Requirements Exaggerated. Some women think they won't qualify for non-traditional occupations due to heavy lifting or other physical strength requirements. But the strength requirements of male-dominated fields are often exaggerated. It's true that some male-dominated occupations do have slightly greater strength requirements than female-dominated occupations. But in general, the differences aren't as large as you might expect.