Women are more educated and employed at higher levels today than ever before,
but they are largely working in "pink-collar" jobs, according to a
report by the American Association of University Women.
The highest proportions of college-educated women continue to work in teaching
or nursing. The Associated Press reports the study found the most popular occupations
for women are secretaries, bookkeepers, sales supervisors, nurses, waitresses,
receptionists and cooks.
Nursing and teaching fail to crack the top-ten list of the most common occupations
among men. The AP notes that women and men share just to two in a list of the
most common occupations: sales supervisors and cooks. The study is based on
statistics from the Census Bureau.
Women have achieved parity with men in obtaining four-year college degrees
and are more likely to work in managerial and professional careers today than
twenty years ago. The authors of the report cite a gender gap in the technology
sector and the sciences.
"The good news is that women have made great strides in education and
the work force," says Mary Ellen Smyth, president of the association's
Educational Foundation. "The bad news is that the new high-tech economy
is leaving women behind. It's not that women are hitting a glass ceiling in
the high-tech sector. It's that they don't have the keys to open the door."
In order for women to move into more better-paying, higher-status occupations,
more focus needs to be placed on advanced education in science, engineering
and technology, the authors of the report tell the AP.
"Education in computer and information technology fields is critical to
thriving in the new high-tech economy," says Jacqueline Woods, AAUW's Executive
Director. "And with only 28 percent of women studying in a field that will
prepare them for work in science, engineering, or information technology, we've
got a real problem."