Department of Family and Community Services

4.3 Non-traditional jobs for women

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Women’s participation in occupational subgroups that have 25 percent or fewer women

Current position

14 out of 43 occupational subgroups in NSW are ‘non-traditional’ in 2012-13 according to the definition used in NSW 2021, the State Plan.

Gender gap

  • As at February 2013, women made up 11 percent of workers in NSW’s most male-dominated occupations.
The direction of
change over time

Women’s share of certain individual non-traditional occupational groups has varied over time.

Notably, women have increased their representation among engineering, ICT and science technicians (20 to 25 percent in the 15 years to 2012-13) and among chief executives, general managers and legislators (18 to 23 percent). Women’s share of the group ‘other labourers’ also grew from 14 to 20 percent between 1997-98 and 2012-13. See Table 4.8.

Contrary to the rising trend among engineering, ICT and science technicians, women’s share of ICT professionals fell. Their representation among farmers and farm managers also fell significantly over the last 15 years, perhaps reflecting greater the effect of consolidation in the agriculture industry.

Women’s already low share of the occupation ‘machinery operators’ nearly halved in the same period.

Discussion

NSW 2021, the State Plan, targets increasing women’s participation in non-traditional occupations as a way of increasing women’s income security and opportunities and ensuring a sustainable workforce in NSW.

Many of the occupations where women have scant presence have experienced significant growth, including replacement job opportunities, and are at risk of skill shortages.

Occupational subgroups are defined at the ANZSCO sub-major or two digit occupational grouping. See also the Focus topic.

Year collected: Four-quarter average to February 2013 and preceding years.
Data source: ABS Labour Force, Australia, Detailed, Quarterly. Cat no. 6291.0.55.003. SuperTABLE E08. More information is available at www.abs.gov.au

Table 4.8 Women’s share of non-traditional occupations 1997-98 to 2012-13

Occupational sub-major group 

Four quarter average ending February 

1997-98 % 

2011-12 % 

2012-13 % 

16 to 25 percent women 

 

 

 

Engineering, ICT and science technicians 

20

25

25

Chief executives, general managers and legislators 

18

22

23

Farmers and farm managers 

27

24

21

Other labourers 

14

19

20

Storepersons 

17

19

17

ICT professionals 

22

18

17

6 to 15 percent women 

 

 

 

Protective service workers 

12

13

15

Machine and stationary plant operators 

24

13

13

Less than 6 percent women 

 

 

 

Road and rail drivers 

3

6

3

Mobile plant operators 

4

4

3

Electrotechnology and telecommunications trades 

2

2

1

Automotive and engineering trades workers 

0

1

1

Construction trades 

0

0

0

Construction and mining labourers 

0

0

2

Total 

- 

- 

11

Note: Occupation sub-major groups follow the ANZSCO classification. 14 occupational subgroups are identified as having 25% or fewer women in 2012-13. Note that the figures are derived using a more reliable four-quarter average for the given year, resulting in slightly different figures to last year’s Report when one quarter data was used.
Population: Employed people 15 years and over.
Source: ABS Labour Force, Australia, Detailed, Quarterly. Cat no. 6291.0.55.003. SuperTABLE E08.