It is undoubtedly a good time to be a female professional in the United States. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) most recent databook on women in the labor force, the unemployment rate for women was lower in 2012 than it was for men, and 38.0% of employed women aged 25 to 64 earned college degrees that year, up from just 11.0% in 1970. Data from the US Department of Education illustrates this achievement gap: in 2013, more than half of all associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees were awarded to women. The growing female share of college degrees has benefited women in the workforce; in 2011, 28.1% of wives in dual-income families made more than their husbands, marking an increase of more than 10.0% since 1987 (latest available data).
However, workplace conditions have not been entirely rosy for women. The BLS notes that women continue to represent a minority in wage and salary worker unions, and 8.3% of all female military veterans were unemployed in 2012, compared with just 6.9% of male veterans. Employed women work fewer hours per week than men, and more working women than working men live below the poverty line. Even female entrepreneurs and higher-paid working women contend with significant disadvantages in the business world; across all professions, women are estimated to earn only 82.0% of what men earn. In highly paid professions, the gap is even more egregious. For instance, female physicians and surgeons earned an estimated 28.3% less than their male counterparts in 2013.
Nevertheless, women have more opportunities today than ever before. Using its database of more than 700 industry reports, in conjunction with BLS employment statistics, IBISWorld has narrowed down six industries that offer unique employment advantages for women. These industries are characterized by strong growth in revenue and employment, particularly in the number of female workers.