The Most Male-Dominated Industries

Overview

US Industries with the most male employees & CEO’s revealed

Inequality in the workplace is a thing as old as time and it still persists today, despite the efforts of a great many. The demand for female-led roles has risen, but the pay gap remains stubbornly high. Though, the inequality isn’t limited to just pay. Women, especially women of ethnic minorities and LGBTQ+ women, face barriers to progression and are more likely to experience inappropriate behavior in the workplace.

Men, on the other hand, still dominate many industries. They have an easier time progressing to leadership roles and simply earn a much higher wage for the same job roles. Men are also much less likely to be subject to discriminatory and inappropriate behavior in the workplace.

We at Lensa have researched which industries men are the most employed, have the most CEOs, and have the highest number of male students at university in these industries. 

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US Industries with the highest percentage of male employment

  1. Construction

Total Number of Employees: 11,271,000 | Percentage of Male Employees: 88.99% | Percentage of Female Employees: 11.01%

The construction industry is heavily populated by male workers and is worth around $1.6 trillion as of 2021, according to Statista. In the same year, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported there were over 11.2 million workers, of which 88.99% were males.

  1. Mining, Quarrying, and Oil and Gas Extraction

Total Number of Employees: 603,000 | Percentage of Male Employees: 84.58% | Percentage of Female Employees: 15.42%

This industry is yet another giant in the United States, worth around a projected $14.39 billion as of 2022, according to Statista. As of 2021, there were a recorded 603,000 workers in this industry, 84.58% of which were males. Comparatively, only 15.42% were female, making it the industry with the second-lowest female employment rate. 

  1. Transportation and Utilities

Total Number of Employees: 9,377,000 | Percentage of Male Employees: 75.21% | Percentage of Female Employees: 24.79%

This industry is pretty self-explanatory, it involves the transportation of goods and often the warehousing and storage of them too. This also includes the establishments which are concerned with the provision of water, gas, and electricity. As of 2021, this industry had 9.37 million employees, of which 75.21% were male. 

US industries with the highest percentage of female employment

  1. Private Households

Total Number of Employees: 658,000 | Percentage of Male Employees: 12.31% | Percentage of Female Employees: 87.69%

Private households are an industry that refers to households employing workers for activities relating to the running of the household. This can include cooks, maids, butlers, gardeners, and caretakers. With 658,000 people employed as of 2021 and 87.69% of those being female, this industry has the highest percentage of female employment. 

  1. Education and health services

Total Number of Employees: 34,725,000 | Percentage of Male Employees: 25.71% | Percentage of Female Employees: 74.29%

This industry encompasses professionals that provide health and social assistance services, ranging from hospital and ambulance services to residential and social care. It also includes the education sector, including those who teach at a variety of levels. With 34.7 million employees as of 2021, this industry has the highest level of employment. Of that vast number of employees, 74.29% of them are female. 

  1. Financial activities

Total Number of Employees: 10,725,000 | Percentage of Male Employees: 47.90% | Percentage of Female Employees: 52.10%

Financial activities include a few different sub-sectors, such as insurance, accounting, banking, and real estate. Additionally, monetary authorities, whose job is to enact monetary control and laws, are also included. As per the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 10.7 million employees in this industry as of 2021, with 52.1% of those being female workers. 

US Industries with the most male CEOs

For this section, we looked at the Fortune 500 list and took the top 100 companies, noting their industry, CEO, and then the gender of their CEO. We then counted how many were males and how many females, to get a percentage of male CEOs for each industry. In some cases, companies had co-CEOs, however, both were not counted and of these 100 companies, only 12 had female CEOs. 

  1. Industries with 100% Male CEO: 30

Percentage of Male CEOs: 100%

There were too many industries that have a 100% rate of male CEOs to concisely list them. Out of the 41 industries in the top 100 of the Fortune 500 list, 30 had just male CEOs, not a single female CEO within their ranks. The industries amongst these are the petroleum refining industry, pharmaceuticals, telecommunications, and diversified financials. Each of those four had more than four CEOs, each of them being male. 

US Industries with the most female CEOs

  1. Health Care: Insurance and Managed Care

Number of Male CEOs: 2 | Number of Female CEOs: 2 | 

Total Number of CEOs: 4 | Percentage of Female CEOs: 50.00%

Healthcare insurance is the industry with the highest number of female CEOs. This industry is obviously concerned with providing healthcare insurance, to help make hospital bills more affordable. On the Fortune lists top 100 companies, this industry had four total CEOs, 50% of which were female. 

  1. Health Care: Pharmacy and Other Services

Number of Male CEOs: 1 | Number of Female CEOs: 1 | 

Total Number of CEOs: 2 | Percentage of Female CEOs: 50.00%

The healthcare sub-sector of pharmacy work and other services also has 50% of its CEOs as female. However, instead of two total female CEOs, there was only one in this industry, with two CEOs total. 

  1. Computer Software

Number of Male CEOs: 1 | Number of Female CEOs: 1 | 

Total Number of CEOs: 2 | Percentage of Female CEOs: 50.00%

Two computer software companies appeared in the top 100 of Fortune’s list. The first one, Microsoft has a male CEO, Satya Nadella. The other company, Oracle, has a female CEO, Safra A. Catz. Meaning, that overall, this industry has 50% of its CEOs as females. 

  1. Mail, Package, and Freight Delivery

Number of Male CEOs: 1 | Number of Female CEOs: 1 | 

Total Number of CEOs: 2 | Percentage of Female CEOs: 50.00%

In the top 100 of the Fortune 500 list, there were two obvious companies that featured, United Parcel Service and FedEx. UPS, the higher ranked of the two companies has a female CEO, Carol B. Tomé, whereas, FedEx’s CEO was male. 

  1. Motor Vehicles & Parts

Number of Male CEOs: 2 | Number of Female CEOs: 1 | 

Total Number of CEOs: 3 | Percentage of Female CEOs: 33.33%

Three companies in this industry appeared in Fortune’s top 100, Ford, General Motors, and Tesla. Ford, the highest ranked, and Tesla, the lowest ranked of the three, both have male CEOs. The second highest ranked company, General Motors, has a female CEO, meaning 33.33% of the CEOs are female. 

  1. Specialty Retailers

Number of Male CEOs: 3 | Number of Female CEOs: 1 | 

Total Number of CEOs: 4 | Percentage of Female CEOs: 25.00%

For the specialty retail industry, there were four companies in Fortune’s top 100 companies. Home Depot, Lowe’s, and TJX all have male CEOs, with the first two placing in the top fifty. Best Buy ranked 68th on Fortune’s list, their CEO is female, Corie S. Barry.

  1. Food & Drug Stores

Number of Male CEOs: 3 | Number of Female CEOs: 1 | 

Total Number of CEOs: 4 | Percentage of Female CEOs: 25.00%

The food and drug store industry had four companies featured on Fortune’s list of top 100 companies. Three of those four companies had male CEOs, yet the top-ranked company had a female CEO. Roz Brewer is the CEO of the Walgreens Boots Alliance, the highest ranked in this industry and 18th overall. 

  1. Aerospace & Defense

Number of Male CEOs: 3 | Number of Female CEOs: 1 | 

Total Number of CEOs: 4 | Percentage of Female CEOs: 25.00%

Aerospace and defense is a huge industry in the US, with four companies in the industry appearing in the top 100 of the Fortune list. Three of those companies had male CEOs, with the remaining and lowest ranked company, General Dynamics, having the only female CEO.

  1. Insurance: Life, Health (Mutual)

Number of Male CEOs: 3 | Number of Female CEOs: 1 | 

Total Number of CEOs: 4 | Percentage of Female CEOs: 25.00%

Life and health insurance are a huge part of the US, especially health insurance, in order to help with the cost of medical bills. This industry also had four companies appear in the top 100 of Fortune’s list, with just one of those being female. TIAA’s CEO is Thasunda Brown Duckett, with this inclusion, she has become the fourth black female CEO to appear on the Fortune 500 list. 

US Industries with the largest gender pay gap

  1. Securities, Commodities, and Financial Services Sales Agents

2021 Median Weekly Earnings for Males: $1,891 | 2021 Median Weekly Earnings for Females: $1,054 | Difference in Median Weekly Earnings: 56.84%

According to the United States Department of Labor, this occupation is the one with the highest gender pay gap. A rather large job title, the role involves connecting buyers and sellers in financial markets, and the entry-level education is usually a bachelor’s degree. The occupation saw males earn a staggering 56.84% more than females during 2021, for the exact same job. 

  1. Legal Occupations

2021 Median Weekly Earnings for Males: $2,233 | 2021 Median Weekly Earnings for Females: $1,332 | Difference in Median Weekly Earnings: 50.55%

A branching term for a variety of occupations, legal occupations can include anything from a lawyer or judge to an arbitrator or mediator. The entry-level qualifications vary, but usually, a bachelor’s degree is needed, but that can easily change to needing a doctorate or professional degree. In 2021, the male median weekly earnings were 50.55% higher than the female median weekly earnings. 

  1. Medical Scientists

2021 Median Weekly Earnings for Males: $2,291 | 2021 Median Weekly Earnings for Females: $1,368 | Difference in Median Weekly Earnings: 50.45%

Medical Scientists, a subject that saw quite a lot more female students than males, have the third-highest pay gap for 2021. This job typically asks for a doctoral degree as a requirement for entry. And with females studying the subject more, it must be disheartening to see that the male median weekly earnings were 50.45% higher than the female median earnings. 

US Industries with the smallest gender pay gap

  1. Purchasing Agents, Except Wholesale, Retail, and Farm products

2021 Median Weekly Earnings for Males: $1,165 | 2021 Median Weekly Earnings for Females: $1,165 | Difference in Median Weekly Earnings: 0.00%

This industry features individuals who purchase items for the operation of an organization, such as chemicals, industrial equipment, and office supplies. This was the single industry with an identical median weekly salary for both genders, at $1,165 apiece. 

  1. Teaching Assistants

2021 Median Weekly Earnings for Males: $639 | 2021 Median Weekly Earnings for Females: $641 | Difference in Median Weekly Earnings: -0.31%

Teaching assistants are an absolutely vital part of any country’s workforce, helping prepare and educate the next generations is priceless. The pay difference in this industry was very low, at just 0.31% for 2021. 

  1. Billing and Posting Clerks

2021 Median Weekly Earnings for Males: $767 | 2021 Median Weekly Earnings for Females: $774 | Difference in Median Weekly Earnings: -0.91%

The billing and posting clerk industry involves the compiling and recording of accounting, statistical, and other numerical data for billing purposes. They also prepare and mail invoices for services rendered or the shipping of goods. The pay gap in this industry is just under 1%, making it the third-lowest pay gap.

Methodology – 

To start with, we used the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics to get the Employment Numbers by Industry and the Gender Pay Gap data. For the gender pay gap, we simply calculated the difference in pay between males and females as a percentage, then ranked each occupation on how big the gap is and how small the gap is. We then also ranked each industry on how many males were employed in it and then how many females.

Then to get the number of male and female CEOs, we used the Fortune 500 list, taking just the top 100 companies and determining whether their CEOs were male or female. We also noted the industry for each company. We then took the number of male and female CEOs for each industry and ranked them. The list of male CEOs was large, as such we show which companies have male-only CEOs. 

For the bachelor’s degree studying data, we used the National Center for Education Statistics. We took the figures for male and female students for each subject, then ranked each one by how many male students were studying it. We only included the top 100 subjects with the most amount of total students, to avoid skewing the results. 

Stefan Repin
Stefan Repin

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