What Social Factors Affect the Choice of Careers for Women?

Factors that affect the choice of careers for women include the general viewpoint of women's roles in their respective society and the general perception of the appropriateness of women in certain jobs. Other factors may include how women themselves feel that they will be perceived by family and their community.

Globally, many societies see the roles of women very differently. In many prosperous Western countries, women comprise half the workforce. In these countries, women are no longer expected to stay home with their families once they are married. In other cultures, however, it is only considered acceptable to work until they are married. Then their first duty is to their home. Because of the disparities between these cultural views, the most common occupations for women still tend to be those in which they have traditionally held accepted roles, such as health care, beauty care, secretarial and administrative jobs, and teaching.

Careers in which women have little presence are those that are generally considered male roles usually because they're associated with brawn, such as construction and technical fields in which certification is generally obtained through apprenticeship programs. Women may steer clear of these jobs because they feel they offer little promise for advancement due to prejudice and the general disapproval of women in those fields. They may also fear how they will be perceived by their family for accepting such masculine jobs.