6 Industries Traditionally Dominated by Men, and How to Get In

It appears that women may actually have more passion for climbing the corporate ladder than their male counterparts. A study conducted for Forbes showed that in some of the most demanding positions traditionally occupied by men, women were found to report higher levels of satisfaction .

According to Dr. Laurence Shatkin, cited in the survey from Forbes, women drew very high satisfaction from jobs that challenged them mentally and paid them well. Application data from TopMBA seems to back this assertion by showing that women are more willing to pursue higher education.


Medical Field

Advances in technology and changes to legislation have led to explosions in the job market for health care. Professions like doctors that were previously dominated by men are opening up to women more as time pushes forward. More women are opting for medical degrees and are willing to take on the long hours associated with the job. The median salary is six-figure and openings are expected to increase by about 27% in the next ten years. Along with education and some financial sector jobs, the medical professions had some of the highest satisfaction among female professionals.

It’s not just diagnosing doctors either. Technician roles are increasingly filled by women, including x-ray and nursing technicians who deal with patient equipment daily. Dentists and optometrists are specialty positions that are also opening up to women. The schooling for these positions is rigorous, but the opportunities are vast.


America needs more engineers. Even though the rates of graduates in the math and science arenas are skewing toward females, the tech industry is in need of women coders. Women bring more than diversity, they bring a different perspective that can influence a product and help build something better.

With data showing that women are more likely to pursue higher education, it will be up to current leaders in tech, like Marissa Mayer, to drive those educated women into the tech sector.


Marketing positions typically held by men are starting to appeal more to the female demographic. More women are taking up careers in design and market research, which transitions well from a degree program in the arts or humanities. Women like Erika Napoletano have made names for themselves across social platforms like Twitter and Facebook through their blogging presence.

More women are starting their own businesses and working out of the home. The term “mommy blogger” doesn’t just include writers; these women are actively promoting their blogs, building social media profiles and investing in their businesses through market research and aggressive copywriting.

Legal Profession

Despite the legal industry’s somewhat outdated ratio of male to female lawyers, the profession is actually a big hit with women. Women report higher satisfaction than men spending long hours studying legal briefings as lawyers, judges and everything in between.

Legal positions start at the paralegal and clerk level, where you may help prepare a case or assist in the keeping of public records. From there you can advance toward becoming a lawyer and eventually to a position of partner or judge. Lawyers are expected to grow at about an average rate, but the salary is high for these positions.


There are a number of financial positions that can help businesses and consumers. Accountants can help businesses keep their books, or transition into tax professionals who help consumers. Certification from universities like Bryant and Stratton college teach you how to generate forecasts and utilize the GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles) for varied systems. Moving up in the financial industry will require work experience, which an AAS degree can help you obtain.

Graduate into something like an actuary and your salary will increase exponentially. The job of an actuary is to assess the growth potential of a small business and help it make solid financial decisions. One part book keeper, one part advisor, this position has a high growth rate and a salary just under six figure.


The field of education has changed hands recently, but was traditionally dominated by both men and women. Administrative and certain teaching positions once held by men are now held by women as the landscape changes. More women graduate with education degrees as well, bringing more diversity to the profession. If they stay dedicated to the profession as teachers and work their way through a master’s program, they can graduate toward becoming a school principles.

This ups their pay grade, which the Forbes survey identified as one of the key elements to job satisfaction. Whether it’s the feeling of helping students grow, or the idea that they are making an impact on education, it’s clear that women–like men–draw satisfaction from careers that challenge and reward them.