Now this is a surprise. Did you know that men are allegedly prevented -- no, obstructed -- from women's occupations?
According to a new study, "job applications from men are discouraged when they apply for work in female-dominated occupations. Reaching the interview stage was most difficult for men applying for jobs as cleaners," newswise.com reports.
I was a little shocked at this, as I don't know too many men -- certainly, in this household -- who would choose to clean, even if for money! The results are part of a study by researchers from Linköping University and the University of California, Irvine, recently published in the scientific journal PLOS One.
"We see that there are obstructions to men entering certain parts of the labor market. In the application process, we don't see any discrimination against women who want to get into male-dominated occupations. But we find considerable discrimination against men in female-dominated occupations", the web site quotes Mark Granberg, doctoral student in economics at Linköping University.
Now, if you've been in business as a female for even just these last 10 years --at least, for me -- this is more true of women than men. I go back a little more than 10 years in the business world and at that time, women were openly discouraged from applying for certain jobs. An airline pilot? Forget about it. A CEO of a Fortune 500 company? In your dreams. A female surgeon for your heart transplant? Thanks, I'll go somewhere else.
Yet, this is all happening today. Even though the study was done in Sweden, it's likely the same thing is happening here.
So why is this new wrinkle coming to light?
According to newswise, the researchers were canny. They submitted approximately 3,200 fictitious applications to employers around Sweden. For every application the researchers noted whether the fictitious applicant received a response and if so, what the response was.
"The female-dominated occupations where discrimination against men was observed include nursing, childcare and preschool teaching - and the most disparate treatment was found in applications to house cleaning jobs," newswise explains. However, in male-dominated occupations such as auto mechanics, truck drivers, IT developers and warehouse workers, the researchers saw no discrimination against women.
Of course, you're saying. Most men don't want to be nurses or help with child care or do pre-school teaching. But the most interesting part of the survey was that, while it acknowledged that women are disadvantaged in the labor market in terms of salary and promotions, the follow-up question is, what happens along the way? Unfortunately, the study did not look at this.
So I hate to say it but the old truth seems the new truth. The jobs most men don't want they're not likely to get. So who's the loser here?