My study revealed that men were more likely than women to choose professions that required much coursework in science and mathematics, such as engineering or medicine. Women, in contrast, were more likely than men to choose helping-related, or artistic careers such as teaching, psychology/counseling, nursing or the arts. The higher the socio-economic status of the woman’s family, the more likely she was to choose a traditionally male-dominated profession.
While these tendencies seemed somewhat expected from my experience helping people choose professions, what I found fascinating were the age differences. As I reviewed the population that I studied from youngest to oldest, I found that younger men and women were less likely to report interests in professions traditionally dominated by their gender. Put another way, the younger the man or woman, the less likely they were to choose professions typical of their gender.
For me, this means that in recent decades, both men and women have grown increasingly open to pursuing a wider range of professions. I hope this information is helpful to those trying to make career choices. Specifically, I hope that this will help individuals feel that they may choose a profession based far more on the degree to which it excites them than upon the degree to which the profession is typical among those of their gender.