Hunting around occupations by their demographics in Emsi’s online data tool, Analyst, it becomes clear that some so-called “high-skilled” or “graduate” jobs (i.e. SOC1-3) are more populated by women, such as Nursing and Midwifery Professionals (88% female) and Managers and Proprietors in Health and Care Services (83% female), and others by men, like Engineering Professionals (89% male) and Information Technology and Telecommunications Professionals (83% male). This isn’t surprising and reflects gender stereotypes we’re all familiar with. However, where are the growing opportunities for women graduates to increase gender diversity in the labour market?
To answer this question, we can look at projected occupation growth over this decade (2020-2030) for the UK and examine occupations by their gender makeup as captured in official statistics. The graduate occupation where women are most under-represented is Transport Associate Professionals (99% male), an occupation group that includes Air Traffic Controllers (84% male), Ship and Hovercraft Officers (95% male) and Aircraft Pilots and Flight Engineers (99% male). However, these occupations do not represent high-recruitment or high-growth opportunities, with average annual openings for Transport Associate Professionals in the decade at 1,437, and growth in the number of jobs from 2003 projected out to 2029, at just 4%:
The average annual openings number is important as it represents how many jobs become available in a year through replenishment, such as vacancies caused by retirement, plus job growth. An occupation may have high numbers in employment, but if the openings are low, then there are fewer opportunities for new hires to make a significant impact to the overall demographic balance.
Filtering for those occupations with poor representation of women (<25%), which have solid growth rates (>5%), plus a significant volume of average annual openings projected across the decade (>10,000), we find four key occupation groups at the 3-digit SOC level. These are Production Managers and Directors (SOC 112); Engineering Professionals (SOC 212); Information Technology and Telecommunications Professionals (SOC 213); and Architects, Town Planners and Surveyors (SOC 243). We can label these high opportunity graduate occupations for women, and in the chart below we have combined them to look at growth in jobs since 2003, with projected growth out to 2029:
Looking within those occupational groups, the greatest opportunities for women in terms of average annual openings (>9,000) are Production Managers and Directors in Manufacturing (SOC 1121); and Programmers and Software Development Professionals (SOC 2136). As the map below shows, these jobs are primarily found in London, the South East, the North West, and the East of England. However, there is a decent spread across much of the rest of the country as well:
Shifting away from the structural data in Emsi Analyst and moving to the Big Data insights captured from online job postings, we can delve deeper into those jobs where women graduates can impact the gender balance most over this decade. Every job posting Emsi captures is tagged with an occupation (4-digit SOC code) and a job title from the Emsi Titles library, a dynamic curated list of over 60,000 job titles that provides a highly granular view of the jobs market. Looking at job postings since January 2020 for the occupation Production Managers and Directors in Manufacturing, we can see the following ten titles have shown the most demand:
That postings for all of these postings are live for over a month, some significantly so, like Production supervisors (37 days), also suggests that these roles have not been easy to fill.
The occupation Programmers and Software Development Professionals includes all manner of roles, so it’s particularly helpful to dig into job titles here. The ten most significant job titles in this occupation since January 2020 are:
These jobs appear to be even harder to fill given the average posting durations — for instance, up to 41 days for .NET Developers.
If employers are finding these roles hard to fill, what is it that they are looking for but are struggling to find? For this insight, we can turn to the skills data we capture in job postings, using the Emsi Library of Skills. Like Emsi Titles, this is a dynamic and curated library of approximately 30,000 skills terms used by employers advertising for jobs. Selecting the top job title from job postings since January 2020 within the Programmers and Software Development Professionals occupation group — Software Engineers — we can see the top hard, or technical, skills sought by employers:
This data is just a small snapshot of what is available in Analyst, but it demonstrates how Labour Market Insight (LMI) and Job Posting Analytics data can highlight both where to look for opportunities and how to access those opportunities. If there are women graduates entering the labour market with the skills that are needed in the jobs where women are poorly represented, then the demographics of the labour market will begin to shift. The potential for that change to gather momentum will be in those gender imbalanced occupations that are growing and need to make the most hires each year.
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