Why Are There So Few Women To Do Sexy Jobs?

Sexy Jobs

Any woman handling responsibility is sexy. Sexy as in it’s a desirable, attractive position. We all agree that data and technology are the future jobs and women should not be left out. This is a pressing problem for an industry already too constrained by talent. Fortunately, it looks like female representation in the new masters programs is closer to parity, which bodes well for the future. But still, firms need to do more to attract and retain women in data science in the meantime. Maybe the problem is that the jobs are still considered by many as “sexy”. This is another example of unconscious bias. Sexy people get sexy jobs? That rings a dull bell, think about it. But when we say exciting job, that rings a bell with an interesting tone. We need to stop making these unconscious bias statements and level the playing field. The evidence shows that balanced teams deliver better results. This is true for every work sector, not just STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and mathematics) or data. Honest, hard-working and intelligent women do exist. The main reason is the bias (shown by men and women) towards women doing any job requiring high intellectual level.

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No one is reducing the existence of women (or men) to the title of sexy. But the field would benefit if both men and women were attracted to those jobs, if women viewed the positions as desirable as men did. Changing prevailing attitudes is the hardest task anyone can TRY TO DO. This is why Elementary Education is so important, via dedicated, hard working instructors-from parents, teachers, and ministers. Our youth come onto earth as, ‘blank slates’. We do not attribute sexiness to concepts like data or objects like cars. We remember when cars were advertised as sexy. We also remember when cigarettes were “sexy”. They were sexy, because a bunch of sycophants said they were. Leave the Madison Avenue tripe out of it. As far as trade magazines, hire technologists, not “writers” to write articles. Women do not need a hook to read something necessary to their career because they are social animals that like pretty things rather than dwell in caves with other smelly nerdy men. There’s weren’t many female pirates either. 

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With that said, we will also submit we are in the middle of a generational confluence where older generations have historically less interaction with technology than younger generations.

  1. Imagine that there would be no reason to bring new “qualified or skilled” people since all (males and females) have the knowledge and skills or be able to do the current jobs;
  2. Data analytics implies more than statistical/math knowledge like intuition and that is an important skill that women have it naturally.

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Computerization and automation to analyze big data in order to push products, services, money, people, places, and things for an ever expanding civilization. Women may have the talent but not the training.  Part of the issue is related to a growing hiring skew away from (Bio)statistics in favor of Engineering and Computer Science, which is more male-dominated than (Bio)statistics. The expanding echo camber in data science that evangelizes trendy methodologies like ‘deep learning’ and ‘machine learning’ to the exclusion of everything else (as if time series, for example, couldn’t form accurate predictions) and the lack of awareness that (Bio)statistics programs teach machine learning and coding explicitly as core classes and also not as an end but as a means to completing every homework assignment must be addressed if we are to draw new hires from increasingly neglected core Data Science programs more greatly represented by women. Women tend to be multi-functional and detail oriented much more so than men and women have the patience needed for IT jobs.

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Why are so few women involved in roofing, and for that matter, construction?

How many women accountants, real estate brokers and bankers were there in previous generation? And, how many are there now? Information Technology jobs for women falls into much the same trending as those jobs. Most people prefer interesting and colorful work, not just women. Stereotyping gender roles is still a hot topic, especially in the professional level. We also need to stop introducing gender stereo types to children which, frankly, starts at home! Because women do not exist merely to carry the title of being “sexy.” We believe the key to changing this ‘perception’ that females have on STEM related careers is education from a very young age. We need to get the message into primary schools not secondary schools. If left to secondary school, its too late.

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For workplaces to change, men need to change - and be seen to change! You don’t need much confidence to deal with data, compare to dealing with men in business world , data is just a piece of cake. Some cultures are the main draw back to females enrolling in certain roles. Career break from marriage, raising children prevent them from dedicating the time needed to keep up with the pace of continuously evolving Data science field. Oddly, no one complains that dirty, dangerous jobs like sanitation work, window washing, coal mining, construction, deep sea fishing etc. are “male-dominated.” Just the well paid, safe, prestigious jobs in air conditioned offices. Again looking at Dubai we should be amused by the enrollment of female taxi drivers. 

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Women bear a heavier load balancing work and family:

We think the work/life balance thing is the biggest factor, but it’s too easy to just put those words on a job ad. So we actively model our family-friendly work culture by not being shy about fitting my work in around our childcare responsibilities (pick ups, drop offs, sick days, parent days etc). Balancing family and career is a tough act to do. This just goes to show that women are a risk-taker and a multi-tasker. If parenting is such a bad deal for women, why do they continue to have babies? Women tend to be the “default parent” no matter what it seems. Even outside of societal views of women’s “roles”. This imbalance is very real. This comes from a narrow minded view of a woman’s “role”. This is taught to us by our parents first, out culture outside of our family secondly, and finally by our society as a whole. But it’s not rock solid. Companies are slowly starting to wise up, especially in the IT / Tech / data worlds. The issue with “family time” versus work time isn’t Just about the women. This is a bigger topic then a simple gender roles one. And even the still critical Point is that women want to have children. This is still a career killer….

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As prejudicial as you may think it sounds, women do bear the burden of a balancing family and work more than men. And, because of that reason, job stability is a greater issue than chance taking. Add to that the remaining gender role bias that’s about… and how disconnected men are to their families. Men are a lot more distant and will put career over their kids. Plenty of dad’s have to make the “big boy” choice and can’t have it all either. Some single parents (man or woman) HAVE to find a work-life balance - still keep up with trends and changes in tech and BE parents (they don’t have a choice outside of welfare). The bigger issue is the cost of living. You CAN’T reasonably raise a family and work a corporate job. Even making 50+k a yr barely covers bills in a single parent household. When you have a spouse that doesn’t work, whose sole job is kids…. that’s an additional dependent. That’s more money that ONE person needs to make. So to make ends meet, most families it requires two incomes. So it’s not JUST about the woman… never was, never will be… we applaud those men who face the same struggle women do to balance family and work.

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Because having a “sexy job” is not number one motivation for most professional women!

After decades of feminist whining, most people have had it with the incessant and ever more trivial demands for more female privilege. We would implore any female out there with any ability or interest in any of the STEM related disciplines to GO FOR IT. We need more like you in industry. Become the role models this sector needs. Women are awesome in this field particularly for their ability to collaborate! Please ladies that are looking to get hired, join Linked In groups that specialize in job opportunities in Data. Men need to model to girls that being smart is sexy to keep middle school girls interested in STEM too! 

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There were always enough women in STEM or at least in the last 20-30 years; those who fire the women with education are the same males who want to keep their jobs and high paid salaries although they are incompetent. Pakistan is falling behind but it can be attributed to other factors. At Information Technology University there are over 100 males and less than 10 females in the first year. Universities such as ITU are providing amazing opportunities for young girls to become involved in STEM - #STEMforGirls #goENGgirl - hopefully the increased interest in STEM based careers correlates to an interest in decision support/analytics/performance measurement! Even in some parts of the industry we are bonded to very old fashioned and traditional role concepts. We know what we are talking about as women are working in a male dominated industry. Women need model but there are so few of them. We try to do Networking and mentoring here with the younger women to avoid them from the Trouble Pakistani women have been through and to strengthen their own self-confidence. Women are so well educated and trained but the industry still do not see them as a future Parameter. 

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