The gender pay gap, workplace harassment, and the so-called glass ceiling rightly cause female careers to become a key talking point in households, boardrooms, and between friends.
But sometimes, highlighting women’s careers can become volatile.
The fight for equality can quickly turn some passionate activists and peers into those who judge and even shame women at work.
Equality in the workplace should be about equality’s central idea. The freedom of choice. The choice to make as much money as your partner. Or, not. The choice to compete for high-earning roles — or to be content in your junior job role. The choice to work a full-time workweek — or the choice to work part-time.
Instead, we’re starting to see a culture where individuals with overly-traditional or overly-liberal ideas are shunned as non-feminists, and only those who are directly competing with men are seen as progressive women.
To get back to the roots of equality, we’re listing 11 female* job roles that should be no big deal. We’re also telling you why.
*Hey, let’s be equal here. This isn’t to say that only women can fulfill these roles. But often women are scrutinized for such professions, so that’s why we’re talking about them.
Proud housewives and stay-at-home mums are often called out for being “backward” by those trying to push the boundaries of feminism.
It seems this non-paying household role is unfavoured by some feminists because a short while ago, it was the only job a woman was supposed to do.
Nevertheless, being a housewife or a full-time mum is still a viable option.
Many women choose to remain in the role of a housewife because they enjoy the domestic chores involved.
Some individuals have reverted to being a housewife after years of trying to carve a career and claim they feel better for it. Others have taken a natural progression to housewifery after having children or seeing their partner’s career progress.
Either way, we shouldn’t force women to desire a career just because this card is now on the table.
Cleaning can sometimes be seen as a paid progression from housewife and is, therefore, only one rung higher on the ladder, so-to-speak.
As a traditionally female role — due to advertising and tradition — modern-day feminist campaigners can be less than impressed with those devoted to cleaning.
However, just because some people get professional satisfaction from cleaning doesn’t mean they’re reenacting sexist adverts.
Cleaning jobs are perfect for low-skilled workers looking to kickstart their resumes. It also works wonders for part-time workers who value flexibility over financial gain.
After all, cleaning can become a lucrative trade as Mrs. Hinch has recently proved.
Is it right to highlight the gender of a CEO? Or should we just concentrate on their success?
Forget low-paid workers and stay-at-home mums — sometimes the high-earners amongst us feel singled out, proving there’s a fine line between celebration and sexism.
We get why female CEOs are celebrated as there are so few females in these positions of power versus men. As of June 2019, only 33 of the companies on the Fortune 500 list are headed by female CEOs. In case you’re wondering, this equates to around 6.6% of all CEOs on the notorious register.
Be aware, though, that shouting about a woman’s gender can sometimes undermine their success and the non-gender specific attributes that got them there. When a woman gets into a position of power, we should focus less on her sex and more on her achievements.
Funnily enough, those who work in the health and wellness sector don’t seem to get much stick — apart from masseuses, that is. This intimate service is sometimes categorized as “degrading” — even if others see it as their vocation. Even those in more risque roles like tantric masseuses are entitled to decide how they earn a living.
For most masseuses, providing a therapeutic escape for people is rewarding, as they claim they can help de-stress and calm their clients.
We all need to dedicate some time to self-care, and masseuses help us to achieve this. So, let’s give them a break and remember to take some time out for ourselves.
Whether you’re disapproving of “using your looks” to get money or presenting an unrealistic image, it’s time to give models a bit of recognition.
Modeling may partly rely on genetics, but it also requires dedication, professionalism, and physical strength.
Just like the office workers we respect, models work an average of 45 to 47 hours a week (not including peak periods like fashion week). To be part of this cut-throat industry, you’ll also need to be both courageous and communicative.
As for presenting an unrealistic image of everyday women, this fault lies with the brand, not the beauty. Shaming “skinny” models get us nowhere and can make this body type feel self-conscious and guilty.
Subtle sexism — and sometimes outright discrimination — in politics still exists, holding women politicians to a different standard than their male counterparts.
Everything from presenting women as less professional to undermining their ability to deal with high-pressure situations is unfair to female candidates.
Some ex-politicians recall that the media tends to pay more attention to the image of female politicians than they do of men. While a suit and tie might be synonymous with a man’s work wardrobe, women’s workwear is often a talking point. And reporters often aren’t that complimentary in their fashion reviews.
Singling out female politicians in this way is damaging on more than just a surface level.
As a national figure, female politicians have the opportunity to lead the way in female empowerment — if the press will allow them.
As a relatively new profession, some people are struggling to see how having influence can equal having a career.
It’s not uncommon for influencers to be called shallow, talentless, and something close to a clone. Such commentary usually focuses on female influencers, even though there are many male influencers on the same social platforms.
As with the job of a model, there are other behind-the-scenes skills required to work as an influencer besides “to look pretty.” As self-employed individuals, influencers will need basic skills to keep their business afloat with finances, negotiation, and scheduling amongst them.
Plus — in terms of the gender pay gap — social media is where we’re starting to see a level playing field in terms of the highest earners.
Athleticism is a trait often paired with men due to their bigger build and physical capacity for strength.
That said, there are plenty of female athletes who are challenging the status quo when it comes to sport, and we should support them.
There’s room for everyone in competitive sports as long as the playing field is fair. Like every other type of profession, we should treat athletes with respect for the many hard hours they’ve endured to reach a level of mastery.
Unfortunately, female athletes struggle to find the recognition they deserve in conventionally masculine spaces.
Industry insiders are often to blame — such as news reporters and show hosts — with one host even asking Serena Williams to twirl before a match to show her outfit. Here’s a firm reminder that this isn’t how to treat a world-class champion — who has won more singles than any man or woman in history, no less.
It’s safe to say that engineering is a heavily male-dominated sector with females accounting for only 9% of engineering job roles in the engineering sector.
Unlike other professions, engineering truly matters. It’s what allows us to innovate, gain global connections, and protect our health.
Interestingly, it’s also a sector where even governments are pushing for equality because of its importance.
So, if you see a female engineer — don’t act like its weird. Remember, the development of humanity relies on it.
Sometimes we find it hard to sympathize with the rich and famous, even when we need to. Hollywood is a notoriously dark place for ripping off actresses and mistreating them too.
Although we might feel more passionate about bumping up the average women’s pay grade, in theory, we should be just as passionate about A-list actresses and their disproportionate paychecks.
When it comes to equality, we need to forget the circumstances and remember the principles. It’s not the point that stars like Angelina Jolie are doing just fine despite not receiving the $10 million more than her husband at the time, Brad Pitt got paid to star in the same movie. After all, the money was technically shared between the same household.
Instead, it’s about whether the difference in payments is fair.
11. Air Hostess
This particular profession has its own pet-name that is inherently sexist. The term “trolley dolly” and even worse “tart with a cart” has been used to describe the job of an air hostess for a while now — even though the job of cabin crew is much more complex than handing out bags of salted peanuts.
Tragically, the Urban Dictionary provides a rather chauvinistic definition of this term.
Despite this, air hostesses’ duties are less about being pleasing to the eye and more about ensuring your safety on board. Reputable airlines carry out thorough training regimes that require individuals to have practical medical skills, physical capability, and in-depth knowledge of the aircraft and its procedures in an emergency landing.
So, be thankful that the cabin crew on your next flight is more well-versed with safety than sex appeal and treat them accordingly.
Rose Collete Aston is the resident blogger for London Tantric, a prestigious, personable and professional Tantric Massage Agency in London. Rose has extensive experience as both a giver and receiver of therapeutic massage, meditation and breathing techniques. She writes knowledgeable and informative articles for a wide range of publications, covering topics related to tantra, holistic wellbeing practices and new trends in the industry.