Betsey Stevenson speaks with economics correspondent Paul Solman for the May 11 Making Sense episode, “These industries are growing: Why are men staying away?”
The episode, which aired on PBS NewsHour, explores how rare it is for men to pursue jobs in growing industries like health care and education, and speculates about the reasons.
“[I]f you look over the last 20 years,” says Stevenson, “we have lost five million jobs in manufacturing and gained nine million jobs in education and health services. So we’re more than making up for the jobs we’re losing, but the characteristics of those jobs, the identity associated with a worker who holds one of those jobs, the pay associated with those jobs are different.”
Stevenson, who wrote a widely circulated Bloomberg View column in December, “Manly men need to do more girly jobs,” believes men feel a stigma when taking on “girls’ work.”
“These are jobs. They’re good jobs," she says of work in the growing health care and education sectors. "But at the same time, we need to recognize that there are a lot of guys who feel, either because their friends or their community or because of themselves, like, when they take one of these jobs that they are doing something girly. And that feeling is a barrier for them.”