If you are a guy between the ages of 20 and 50 you might not want to read this blog, but if you are a gal, keep reading. There is a new book out by Hanna Rosin entitled The End of Men. Rosin is not one of those feminist man-haters but rather a number cruncher who specializes in looking at census, education and job data. What she has found out about men and women in the workforce is really astounding. In short, the women are likely to become the economic dynamos of the future and dominate the workplace.
Today 60% of the Bachelor’s degrees are being earned by women and 60% of the Master’s degrees as well. While 75% of the D and F grades in our K-12 school systems are earned by boys, girls dominate the National Honor Society rolls and are increasingly the valedictorians of their class. The elite colleges and universities are now seeking out promising young women as the men fight for academic acceptance.
Guys, it gets worse. Forty years ago 96% of men were employed full-time, today that number is 80% and dropping. Millions of men are on disability or unemployment compensation as jobs in the manufacturing sector or so-called “muscle jobs” bring on health issues or a pink slip.
Gals, however, have taken a different route. Overwhelming evidence points to the fact that women are enrolling by huge numbers in academic programs that will position them for the jobs of the 21st century such as health care, finance, bio-tech, medicine and software. Rosin gives one startling example. In the Auburn-Opelika region of Alabama, the median female income is 140% larger than that of the males. The men just seem to be stuck in an employment rut that yearns for the old days of working at the factory, while the women have moved on to the jobs that matter today.
Now men can certainly correct these employment and income differentials with a bold vision, hard work and a little dose of reality. The jobs that have been lost since the Great Recession will come back, but not in old manufacturing or the “muscle industries.” Unfortunately, too many of the out of work or underachieving males would rather drink beer, watch football, play video games and complain about their circumstances than follow the lead of women and get off the couch and into training programs for the jobs of the future.