Some of the best jobs for women in 2015 are in fields where they are still underrepresented. Three so-called STEM professions (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) made this year’s list compiled by the job portal CareerCast, including biomedical engineer, statistician and actuary.
"Though STEM fields are notorious for lacking gender diversity, some of the best jobs for women are bucking the trends," says CareerCast publisher Tony Lee.
More traditional jobs for women also made the list. These include professions women have long dominated including dental hygienist, event planner, occupational therapist and public relations manager. Interestingly, the median annual earnings for some of these jobs are comparable to median incomes in male-dominated professions. For example, occupational therapists typically earn around $75,000, and statisticians make about the same.
Jobs rankings were ranked based on projected growth, salaries and other factors, including active recruitment of women and competitive pay regardless of gender. Dental hygienist and occupational therapist are two of the highest projected growth fields in healthcare, with women making up most of the workforce in both professions.
In the burgeoning field of biomedical engineering, women are having a larger impact than in other STEM fields, partly because they now make up 39 percent of biomedical engineering graduates. Similarly, 40 percent of all enrolled students in statistician programs were women last year.
Rounding out the list of best jobs for women are advertising and promotions manager, education administrator, human resources manager and market research analyst.
The outlook seems good not only for women pursuing professions in which they are underrepresented but also for those aspiring to executive-level positions overwhelmingly held by men. "Many companies actively recruit women to reach a gender balance in their workforce and to help fill positions that are hard to fill," including prestigious C-level positions, Lee says. "There are hundreds of examples of companies that strive to attract more women employees, including most Fortune 500 companies."
Perhaps they’ll redouble their efforts now that women’s leadership skills are being praised in high places. The investor known as Mr. Wonderful on ABC’s hit TV show "Shark Tank" told an Entrepreneur magazine contributor in February that women make better CEOs than men. And a 2014 analysis from Fortune showed that Fortune 1000 companies with female CEOs record better stock market returns than those with male CEOs. Still, a scant 51 of the Fortune 1000 companies are run by women.