Ms. Rosin writes: “According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, women now hold 51.4 percent of managerial and professional jobs — up from 26.1 percent in 1980.”
In The Atlantic’s summary of the article — which, in fairness to Ms. Rosin, was probably not written by her — the magazine was more succinct: “Most managers are now women too.”
But as its name implies, “management, professional and related occupations” is a big catch-all mega-category. At that level of aggregation, all of America’s 139 million workers fit in one of these five mega-categories:
You can break the “managers and professionals” category down into, well, managers and professionals:
And once you’ve done so, more men are managers are managers than women. Ladies made up just 38.2 percent of the 15 million people in “management occupations” in 2010 — and just 25.5 percent of the 1.5 million chief executives.
Meanwhile, “professional” females outnumber dudes. The fairer sex made up 57.4 percent of the nation’s 30.8 million professionals in 2010, BLS says. That’s how you get an overall rate of women holding 51.5 of managerial and professional jobs.
Looking at the numbers from the “professional” category, there’s still quite a high degree of gender segregation. Men are not outmanned in “Computer and mathematical occupations” (4:1 male-to-female), “Architecture and engineering occupations” (around 7:1 dudes), or “Life, physical, and social science occupations” (53.5 percent men). Women outnumber men in fields like “Community and social services occupations,” “Education, training, and library occupations,” and “Healthcare practitioner and technical occupations.”
Basically, the reason women held 51.5 percent of the nation’s “managerial and professional” jobs in 2010 is that there a lot more women librarians, social workers and nurses. The Atlantic used that figure to falsely claim there are more women managers! Kind of a crazy example of how statistics can be used to deceive.
Rosin has also claimed women make up “54 percent of all American managers.” I’d love to see her source on this. If any study came out on this from a reputable source, I think it’d be front-page news everywhere — but I can’t find anything on Google that backs her up.
Also overall, according to the statistics, women slightly outnumber men in management and professional positions — but earn 73.5 percent of the salary of men in those fields. This is not a statistic that shows “the deterioration of the male condition.”