“It is clear that male employment suffered more [than female employment], both in absolute and in relative terms. Nationally, male employment declined by 2.3 million, and female employment by 0.6 million.” Reuters, March 5, 2009
Yeesh. Statistics like that might leave a guy ready to spring for a manicure and makeover! Given the disproportionate impact of the economic downturn, what’s a boy to do?
Tempting as it is, I can’t suggest you dress for your next interview in a skirt and heels. There are, however, some things men in the workforce can learn from today’s women about commitment…to higher education, I mean.
Since 1982, women have outpaced their male counterparts in completing college degrees. In 2006 (the most recent statistics readily available), women accounted for 57% of bachelor’s program enrollment to men’s 43%. And women completed the programs at a rate six percentage points higher. In fact, some studies predict that by 2020, 156 women will earn their B.A. for each 100 men.
This stagnation in male college achievement couldn’t come at a worse juncture. While the male-dominated construction industry will rebound, though perhaps not to the same height as during the housing bubble, many of the manufacturing jobs (also male dominated) are gone for good. Even with the bailout, American car makers are planning to be significantly smaller, and other industries continue their offshoring efforts.
Whatever economy arises from the current crisis, it seems evident it will be knowledge- and service-oriented—areas where women have excelled, and seem determined to continue. Employees who can drive innovation will be in demand; those whose skill set remains in the last century will struggle.
So guys, here’s your wake-up call from us brainy gals: Prepare now or fall further behind. If you’re a student, you’ve already taken the first step. Make a commitment to completing your education. It WILL make a difference…even more so than the right shade of lipstick.
Career Services International – www.careersi.com
Education Career Services – www.educationcs.com