Has the perspective on the career field changed?


Theresa Barber

Genevieve McShane competes at a League Tournament in Dewitt with her team Flourish & Bots.

Sam McGrath, Business Manager

In the last 50 years, the employment of women in the workforce has skyrocketed. This has created gender-specific stigmas surrounding various jobs including STEM positions and nursing. However, current generations are beginning to employ based on qualifications and not gender. 

Genevieve McShane, senior and member of the Women in STEM club, recognizes that women have made great strides in STEM related careers, but there is still work to be done. “I don’t view women going into STEM as a boundary. There have been so many advances the last few years with more and more women going into STEM related careers. I foresee that in the future, there will be more women in STEM careers…right now there is still a lack of women representation in these fields,” explained McShane. 

There has been a rise in women going into STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) careers. In the past, women pursuing STEM careers have been restricted by gender stereotypes. However, recently the number of women in these professions has skyrocketed, providing a different perspective and increased efficiency in those fields of innovation.

Gendered jobs are seen on both sides. While the boundaries of these careers have become blurred through the years there are some jobs that are viewed as female careers, like nursing.  

Senior Michael Nauman has aspirations of becoming a nurse and has been moved by the recent nationwide need for nurses and medical experts. “The view that nursing careers are typically held by women has not affected my decision to go into nursing at all,” says Nauman. “I know that there is a large demand for nurses due to this pandemic, so I just want to help people and provide support.”

There are stigmas that associate nursing with women and some would view Nauman wanting to become a nurse as breaking down barriers. However, Nauman views it more as an opportunity for himself with the vast job opportunities for nursing during this pandemic. 

Maybe current generations aren’t breaking down gender-based barriers, but instead finding new perspectives to get jobs done. “It doesn’t matter if a nurse is male or female. The only thing that matters to me is the qualifications and the desire to get the job done right,” stated Nauman. 

McShane and Nauman both see these as jobs that need to be filled, however unlike Nauman, McShane does recognize the societal norms that have affected the STEM field. “Because of societal norms and STEM being seen as something that’s nerdy or something that only men do, a lot of females avoid STEM related careers,” commented McShane. 

While some view their professions as gendered jobs, others just view it as work and gender doesn’t have an effect on them. Current generation’s perspective has certainly changed compared to the past. More young adults are ready to change gender-dominated jobs that have posed a challenge to past generations. Others just see jobs that are in need and want to help provide. Overall, the goal is ultimately the same: filling jobs based on qualifications and not demographics.