Women, contrary to popular belief, are not just delicate beings that are meant to dedicate their time to the upbringing of their children and to manage home chores. They are powerful figures who can conquer the world when given a chance!
There is no denying the fact that women are underrepresented in various professional fields just because ofstereotypes. Jobs such as those of firefighters, computer programmers, aircraft pilots are commonly open to men only, and women are highly discouraged from choosing these career paths. The reason? A failed mindset!
The world has created artificial barriers due to which highly qualified women are unable to reach their full potential. The myths that keep skilled women with strong visions from working in non-traditional fields start from not having enough physical strength to wanting special treatment on the job. There are very few things that are further from reality than this and the world is full of examples to prove that!
We have seen some great examples of powerful women who have not only successfully built their empires but are even improving the lives of other people around the world! Starting from Louise Blanchard Bethune, the first-ever female architect to Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook, there is inspiration everywhere for women not motivated enough to build a non-traditional career – and for men who doubt the brilliance of women.
Understanding Non-Traditional Careers for Women
Any industry where women make up 25% or less of the entire workforce is termed as a non-traditional career for women. Some of the non-traditional career paths that women are struggling to become a part of include auto service technicians, blue-collar jobs, STEM professionals, and aircraft pilots among others.
The reason why women look up to these non-traditional careers is because of the high wages and benefits these male-dominant jobs offer. Women deserve equal pay and should be given opportunities to do jobs that, for some unknown reason, are considered to be exclusively “masculine.”
A lot of women who are passionate about non-traditional careers get their dreams crushed when they do not receive support from their friends and families. Their brought up is also a significant factor that makes these women take a step back from what they are meant to do. All their life, they are pushed into “traditional” fields, and societal pressure takes away all their opportunities and forces them to live a life they did not want for themselves.
Encouraging Women to Step into Non-Traditional Careers
The world today is a lot better than it was a few decades ago. Today, women are stepping into non-traditional careers, working wonders, and setting examples for other women. However, there is still a need to encourage women’s motivation for non-traditional jobs.
There are various ways we can build a job market that is free from barriers that discourage women from stepping into male-dominant fields.
Highlighting the Examples
For women looking for sources of inspiration, there is nothing better to look at than real-life examples of women who have excelled in male-dominated jobs – because they had passion, courage, and a strong vision. The world has a lot of examples of women who took up unusual paths and were able to build a name for themselves. Mary Kom, five times world boxing champion, Mayanti Langer, a sports journalist at ESPN, and WoniSpotts, a 55-year-old, who is the first-ever black woman to travel to every country in the world. Woni Spotts has done something remarkable in her life that few Americans even set out to achieve: she traveled to all 195 countries in the world. Until now, the 55-year-old vegan who loves animals didn’t seem to attract too much attention to her. She began traveling the globe decades ago in front of cameras for a film series that never aired. She also finished visiting all 195 countries in 2018, and for the last legs of her journey, Spotts self-funded her travels.
All the above examples are inspirations for women and an answer to those who doubt the ability of women.
If you want to get a blue-collar job or have always dreamt of flying a plane, you have to take a stand for yourself. These women worked everything out to convert their dreams into reality and stepped into unique areas to build a name for themselves. If these women can do it, why can’t you?
Changing the Mindset
One of the most significant contributing factors that discourages women from taking up non-traditional career paths is the mindset that is practically imposed on them from a young age. The way girls are brought up is what determines the type of person they will grow up to be.
Women who are taught to always make “traditional” choices just because of societal pressure can never build the courage to take bold steps and work to convert their dreams into reality. Therefore, to let women choose their career path, we have to change the way girls are brought up.
Instead of teaching young girls that they have to take up a traditional career path, we have to teach girls to pursue their dream.
Mentoring the Right Way
The people we meet in our lives play a crucial role in directing our efforts and influence our career choices. Mentoring girls, from a young age, the right way,can help them make choices in life. Teachers and professors serve as perfect mentors for all. A lot of girls take inspiration from their teachers, and these individuals can make a huge impact on a girl’s life.
Teachers should consider it their primary responsibility to provide their female students the right guidance and help them identify their interests. Build an environment that helps them explore their options and discover their true capabilities. If a teacher realizes that their female student’s interests are inclined towards a non-traditional career path, they must encourage them and provide them the right form of mentoring. The smallest steps can make a huge difference. And that’s how teachers and anyone a girl looks up to as a child, can play their part in woman’s life.
Building a Supportive Work Environment
A lot of women are skeptical about joining a non-traditional career just because of the work environment. In the construction industry, automotive plants, factories, and military, male workers find it difficult to accept women as their co-workers and colleagues. These men create difficulties for them, which eventually leads to a woman giving up.
Instead of making it hard for women to work in these fields, these men have to create a supportive work environment. If not, it is the organization’s responsibility to promote diversity and equality in its culture.
A lot of women give up on their dreams when they do not get the support they desire, which is unfair. Women are powerful, and they can work wonders if the world gives them a chance and lets them take the stage. The world has to adapt to the changing mindset of women and build an environment that encourages women’s motivation for non-traditional career paths!