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The more things change, the more they stay the same. At least that’s how it seems with recent data that shows that the most common job for a woman to hold in the 1950s is that same as it was in 2010: Secretary.
Wait … what? Haven’t women broken the glass ceiling and those tired old stereotypes that dictate they’re better off in the secretarial pool than in some high-powered corporate role? Yes! But that doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with more women than men filling secretarial roles in the workforce.
Women have indeed broken the glass ceiling, and are certainly capable of doing any job that a man can do. And all things being equal, we’re usually paid better for it. Heck, we’ve recently been invited to serve on the front battle lines in war, so no matter what your opinion is on what women should do, it seems we can do anything.
Just because women can do practically anything a man can do (but come on, is peeing while standing up really that great?) doesn’t mean that she isn’t better suited sometimes for certain jobs.
The term secretary has fallen out of popularity over the years, being replaced by administrative assistant or office professional, but let’s be honest: A secretary is a secretary. And there’s nothing wrong with that. There’s also nothing wrong with women filling a majority of those positions.
Why are more women than men secretaries? I’m going to run with gender stereotypes here and say -- they’re better at it. Women seem to be naturally more capable than men at scheduling, resolving conflicts, keeping people on task, and staying organized.
Side note: The top job for American men is truck driver … does this mean they’re better at sitting on their hineys for most of the day? I kid, I kid …
I called a female friend that works as a secretary to ask how she felt about this topic. “How do you feel about the fact that more women than men work as secretaries in today’s modern world?” I asked.
“I worked with a male administrative assistant once,” she responded with politically correct candor, “He got fired. He wasn’t very good at his job.” When I pressed her as to why, she said, “I think women are just more detail-oriented, and that’s a necessity in this line of work.”
So there you go. Sure secretaries, office assistants, administrative professionals, or whatever they’re being called today are more likely to be of the female variety. It doesn’t mean that we aren’t capable of doing anything else -- it just means we’re better at it.
Why do you think secretary is still the number one job for women in America?
Image via austinevan/Flickr