What is the female equivalent of the gentlemen

Typical male and female jobs

Today, significantly more women are gainfully employed in Germany than a few decades ago. However, there are still industries in which women are hardly represented. The cause: Especially when it comes to choosing an apprenticeship, the youngsters often still follow traditional role models (graphic on page):

In 2020, office management, medical and dental assistants were among the most popular apprenticeships for women.

This means that the most popular apprenticeships have not changed compared to previous years.

The training to become a vehicle mechatronics technician, IT specialist and electrician was particularly popular with men last year. In some of these professions, not even every twentieth trainee was a woman.

Among the top 5 apprenticeships, only clerks and salespeople in retail are more or less popular with both genders.

A look at the sectors in which either primarily men or women are employed subject to social security contributions reveals a well-known gender-specific pattern (graphic):

While in some of the construction and metal trades significantly less than 10 percent of employees are women, their share is more than 80 percent, especially in the education and health care professions.

Today, however, women often choose an academic career. There are more female students at universities than ever before: in autumn 2020 around 1.47 million women were enrolled at German universities, ten years earlier there were only a little more than 1.05 million female students. This means that the gender ratio is almost balanced: In the 2020/2021 winter semester, the proportion of women was 49.9 percent.

The differences in career choices also explain a large part of the gender pay gap - the difference between the average gross hourly wages of men and women.

Nevertheless, there are still clear differences when it comes to choosing a course of study: Although business administration (BWL) ranks first among first-year students of both sexes, technical and scientific subjects such as computer science and mechanical engineering dominate after that. In April 2021, around 45,000 men and only around 10,600 women were studying business informatics.

After business studies, women particularly like law and psychology, but also subjects such as education - there were around 44,000 female students and just 12,500 students here in April 2021.

The stereotypical choice of profession has consequences

Overall, women and men still differ greatly from one another when it comes to choosing a career. There is nothing wrong with that if the choice corresponds to the respective preferences. Nevertheless, there are good reasons to encourage young people to leave the traditional path and break away from stereotypical ideas.

For example, some professions in which women predominantly work are associated with lower wages and poorer advancement opportunities. This applies, for example, to the social sector and the health sector. The differences in career choices explain a large part of the gender pay gap - i.e. the difference between the average gross hourly wages of men and women.

The shortage of skilled workers is also urging gender stereotypes to be thrown overboard. In many companies, there is a lack of qualified employees in the MINT area (mathematics, IT, natural sciences and technology), so more applications from women would be very welcome.