When I make presentations to audiences of women and men about my research on women in organizations, they often ask me, “What about men? What’s happening for them?” Recent studies, reported by Richard V. Reeves and Isabel V. Sawhill, reveal some important changes for men in the United States workforce. Specifically, Reeves and Sawhill note, “the old economy and the old model of masculinity are obsolete.” While women have been pushing, for the most part successfully, into previously traditionally male roles, men have not been pushing into traditionally female roles. Because the jobs that men used to do are largely disappearing, men either need to adapt and move into the female-dominated HEAL (health, education, administration, and literacy) jobs, or men will have fewer and fewer prospects for participating in the labor market. The thirty fastest-growing occupations are currently in the HEAL sectors. The only obstacles to men entering these occupations are culture and attitude—men aren’t training or applying for these “pink collar” jobs. Here are some recent trends that do not bode well for men if they do not adapt and change:
- Male wages are stagnant and, among the less educated, have fallen. Median earnings for men with only a high school diploma have fallen by 28 percent since 1980.
- Men are now a minority on college campuses, accounting for 42 percent of graduates.
- Girls demonstrate more focus, effort, and self-discipline as well as better study habits starting in the early grades, and, consequently, they have higher grades.
“The way forward, we believe, is for men to embrace and adapt to the new, more androgynous world. There is no point in harking back. The world in which high-paid manufacturing jobs could support a family, and where women were expected to focus on being wives and mothers is gone. Women have shown they are ready for this transition. But what about men?”Image courtesy of stockimages at FreeDigitalPhotos.net]]>