Knowledge Center

Women in Male-Dominated Industries and Occupations

Male-Dominated Industries Employ 25% or Fewer Women1

Male-dominated industries and occupations employ fewer women and are particularly vulnerable to masculine stereotypes that make it even more difficult for women to excel.2 ​

Senior leadership teams that are dominated by men set the tone for talent management norms where masculine stereotypes can influence promotion and development opportunities.3

  • Catalyst research discovered that talent management systems can be vulnerable to
    pro-male biases, which results in less diverse employee pools.4

Occupational Segregation Contributes to Gender Inequality 5

Women continue to be highly overrepresented in clerical, service, and professional occupations, while men tend to be overrepresented in craft, operator, and laborer jobs.6



Women's Share of Male-Dominated Australian Industries7
IndustryWomen's Share of Total IndustryWomen's Share of Managers in IndustryWomen's Share of CEOs in Industry
Utilities (Electricity, Gas, Water, and Waste Services)24.4%19.3%0%
Public Administration/Safety20.6%18.7%0%



Women's Share in Male-Dominated Canadian Industries8 
IndustryWomen’s Share of Total Industry
Fishing, Hunting, and Trapping14.2%
Forestry and Logging with Support Activities18.4%
Mining (including oil and gas extraction)19.4%


Top 10 Most Male-Dominated Canadian Occupations9
OccupationTotal EmployeesWomen's Share of Total Employees
Heavy-Duty Equipment Mechanics42,9851.1%
Automotive Service Technicians, Truck and Bus Mechanics, and Mechanical Repairers137,5351.6%
Steamfitters, Pipefitters, and Sprinkler System Installers20,3051.6%
Electrical Power Line and Cable Workers11,3651.7%
Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Mechanics23,9401.7%
Plumbers, Pipefitters, and Gas Fitters74,0301.7%
Automotive Service Technicians166,1001.8%
Electricians (Except Industrial and Power System)86,0801.9%


Top 10 Female-Dominated Canadian Occupations10
OccupationTotal EmployeesWomen’s Share of Total Employees
Dental Assistants29,78598.2%
Medical Administrative Assistants14,96598.2%
Dental Hygienists and Dental Therapists23,32597.0%
Early Childhood Educators and Assistants187,75096.8%
Office Administrative Assistants--General, Legal and Medical381,27596.3%
Home Child Care Providers62,61095.5%
Court Reporters, Medical Transcriptionists, and Related Occupations9,07594.8%
Dietitians and Nutritionists9,96093.7%
Audiologists and Speech-Language Pathologists9,02093.7%















Women's Share of Male-Dominated Japanese Industries11


Women's Share of Total Industry

Mining and Quarrying of Stone Gravel0%
Electricity, Gas, Heat Supply and Water13.3%
Transport and Postal Activities18.2%



United States

 Women's Share of Male-Dominated US Industries12


Women’s Share of Total Industry


Fishing, Hunting, and TrappingN/A
Mining, Quarrying, and Oil and Gas Extraction13.3%


Top 10 Most Male-Dominated US Occupations13
OccupationTotal EmployeesShare of Women Employees
Brickmasons, Blockmasons, and Stonemasons122,0000.1%
Drywall Installers, Ceiling Tile Installers, and Tapers129,0000.3%
Mining Machine Operators65,0000.3%
Bus and Truck Mechanics and Diesel Engine Specialists316,0000.5%
Electronic Home Entertainment Equipment Installers and Repairers50,0000.5%
First-Line Supervisors of Fire Fighting and Prevention Workers64,0000.5%
Tool and Die Makers56,0000.8%
Heavy Vehicle and Mobile Equipment Service Technicians and Mechanics194,0001%
Automotive Service Technicians and Mechanics867,0001.2%
Operating Engineers and Other Construction Equipment Operators348,0001.3%



Top 10 Female-Dominated US Occupations14
OccupationTotal EmployeesWomen’s Share of Total Employees
Secretaries and Administrative Assistants2,768,00095.3%
Childcare Workers1,236,00094.1%
Receptionists and Information Clerks1,132,00091.5%
Teacher Assistants818,00091.1%
Registered Nurses2,605,00090.6%
Bookkeeping, Accounting, and Auditing Clerks1,130,00089.1%
Maids and Housekeeping Cleaners1,284,00088.1%
Nursing, Psychiatric, and Home Health Aides1,863,00087.9%
Personal Care Aides907,00084.7%
Office Clerks, General920,00083.4%













Additional Resources

Catalyst Award Winners in Male-Dominated Industries

The Catalyst Award annually honors innovative organizational approaches with proven, measurable results that address the recruitment, development, and advancement of all women, including women of color.

Six of the companies that won the Catalyst Award were in male-dominated industries.

  • Chevron (2015)15
  • Alcoa (2013)16
  • CH2M Hill (2009) 17
  • Nissan (2008) 18
  • BP (2006)19
  • Georgia Pacific (2005) 20
  • Harley-Davidson, Inc. (2004)21



How to cite this product: Catalyst. Catalyst Quick Take: Women in Male-Dominated Industries and Occupations in U.S. and Canada. New York: Catalyst, 2015.