Why Women Dominate the World of HR [Case Study]

The world is continuously changing and among one of the radical changes in human history is gender equality. To be more specific, gender equality in the world of working. Before, women were not given rights to take up a lot of different roles because of inequality.

Now, women make up 40% of the workforce and even dominate certain fields such as Human Resource (HR). While men still dominate a lot of fields, 73% of HR is comprised of women. There are reasons that support why women dominate this field.

In this article, we’ll share with you 3 reasons why women dominate the world of HR. You might be surprised to find out how the nature of the job is closely linked to biology and genetics.

The Stereotype

HR has always been known to be dominated by females. At its peak, up to nearly 80% are women in the field of HR. While the number of men in HR is dramatically increasing, women would still be dominating the world of HR for quite some time.

While it is a known fact that HR is a female-dominated field, it has never been an issue. The imbalance is even perceived positively as a welcome change from most other fields of work being dominated by men.

The statistics is also proof that men don’t feel an urgent desire to pursue HR jobs. With getting HR jobs, there are no restrictions that could hinder men from having it. No physical or mental factors are present to prevent or restrict men from acquiring HR work.

Even though HR jobs are available, men tend to choose other types of work. The long term trend of the HR being dominated by female gave it an image as work well-suited for women. Scientifically, this makes sense.

Biology and Genetics

The reason why most other fields are male-dominated and the rest are female-dominated can be deeply rooted in biology and genetics. For example, women working as crane and tower operators in America make up only less than 1%. In fact, they only make up 0.2%.

Here are more examples of one gender dominating the other:

  • Concrete workers and brickmasons are 99.9% male
  • Engine mechanics are 99.2% male
  • Child-care providers are 94% female
  • Home health care providers are 89% female
  • Veterinarians are 81% female
  • Social services workers are 85% female
  • Educators are 75% female
  • Nurses are 91% female

On a superficial level, it may seem to only be a stereotype. Building construction and mechanics are meant for men because it’s the type of job guys are interested in.

Meanwhile nurses and HR are mostly comprised of women because the responsibilities are feminine in nature. While those are vague reasoning, on a deeper level, biology and genetics are also in play. 

If you look at job descriptions of HR workers, much of the responsibilities are emotional in nature. Men tend to not find these type of work appealing. Additionally, females are preferred because they are traditionally recognized to be more empathetic and have good communication skills. 

In a recent research conducted by Rueckart and Naybar, they concluded that females are more empathetic than males of the same age. Not only that but they also found out that the differences grow with age.

The role of motherhood and taking care of children is also within the biology of women. This is why women are more empathetic. 

Jobs that require empathy and emotional skills such as nursing and HR are dominated by women because they are better-suited for the job. Both research and statistics support this.

This does not mean men can’t function excellently in these types of work. It just means women fit the roles better because of biology. Biology is the reason why women in recruitment is prevalent. 

The Future of Women in HR

Studies and statistics have shown that there will be no rapid decline in the larger percentage of women compared to men in HR. However, this has never been an issue and is positively received.

While there may be no rapid decline in the percentage of women in recruitment within the upcoming years, blurring of the gender line is still a possibility. A study conducted by CareerBuilder concluded that men and women historically balanced or even reversed gender domination in certain jobs.

For example, here are what used to be male dominated jobs wherein women were able to fill up nearly half its workforce. Here’s the percentage of women from these different careers:

  1. Lawyers – 48%
  2. Marketing managers – 47%
  3. Coaches and scouts – 41%
  4. Financial analysts – 40%
  5. Optometrists – 43%

Meanwhile, here are what used to be female dominated jobs and the percentage of men that fill these roles now:

  1. Cooks – 64%
  2. Pharmacists – 50%
  3. Technical writers – 41%
  4. Interior designers – 41%
  5. Bartenders – 48%

Regardless of different possibilities, there’s no denying that HR requires empathy and emotional skills. Biologically, women are better suited for the nature of the job and that’s why women dominate in HR.

What has been your experience between a female and male HR? Was there a difference? Let us know.