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Wondrous Women Growing In The Workforce

For most of last year and even the past few months, all of the talk about the nation’s financial status has revolved around the recession and Canada’s recovery from it. While exchange of good and bad news took Canadians on somewhat of an economic roller coaster, it seems as if the ride has become a bit smoother as of late.

Thankfully, Anne-Marie Tobin of The Canadian Press had some more good news for Canadians as she reported earlier today that a certain group has increasingly grown its ability to become more dominant in a number of professions. That very special group is known as…women.

Says Tobin, “Women are making greater inroads in non-traditional occupations and fields of study, says a new study released Thursday by Statistics Canada on women in the workforce.” The study, which focuses on the ten-year period between 1996 and 2006 found that women went from being the minority to the majority in several fields.

Those fields include “human resources, as administrative services managers, machine operators in textiles, as managers in art, culture, recreation and sport, and in insurance and real estate sales.” Most impressive is the fact that women have made significant gains in occupations that are considered somewhat non-traditional. Tobin reports that the police force and firefighters have each increased their female population by 5%.

Kathryn McMullen, the co-author of the study had this to offer: “Certainly one of the major drivers, I think, has been the rising educational attainment of women, and changes in their fields of study at the university level. Beyond that, too, I think there’s been strong efforts in some fields, and I am thinking specifically now of police officers and firefighters, to actively recruit women into those occupations.”

And that’s not all. StatsCan also revealed that more women are being represented in the architecture, sales and the physical sciences fields. In fact, in the ten-year span that was studied, the number of female architects, urban planners and land surveyors grew from 17% to 25%.

As well, during the same period, the number of female sales, marketing and advertising managers grew from 25% to 34%. Physical science professionals went from being 24% female to 31%.

Said McMullen: “We know that women traditionally have been often in the retail sector, but now we see that they’re moving to the managerial level within that sector…They (women) have always dominated in the health fields and that’s largely because of nursing, but if we look at the post-secondary level in recent graduates, for example in 2007 … 60% of graduates from medicine — MDs, so largely family practitioners — were women compared to 43% in 1992.”

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