London, UK – April 13th 2015
Recent research conducted into perceptions of workplace gender roles has found that the marine industry is viewed as the manliest industry. 92% of those who took part in the study ranked it as either “very manly” or “extremely manly.” Engineering was rated as the most manly profession, with 88% rating it as “very manly” or “extremely manly,” according to the survey conducted by New Zealand based foul weather clothing manufacturers Stormline.
Despite societal barriers to entry, females hold as many as one in three jobs (one in five on average) in these manly professions; chef, butcher and private security contractor have the highest ratio of females.
Regan McMillan, spokesman for Stormline, who conducted the research, said:
“Marine work is harsh, lonely and dangerous, so you do need a degree of toughness to do it for a long time, but toughness isn’t just a male trait and I’ve met plenty of women who excel in these so-called ‘manly’ roles, despite stereotypes suggesting it’s a man’s game.
“Most of our customers who work in the marine and fishing industry are men and it’s fair to say the majority fit the stereotype of manliness.
“We commissioned the research to see if perceptions of certain jobs might make them unattractive to otherwise ideal candidates. There’s certainly a lack of females in engineering, particularly in the UK where the study was conducted, and we believe perceptions of men’s and women’s work plays a part in that. It would be good to see these stereotypes fade and for there to be a more balanced workforce in these traditionally male-dominated jobs.”
1. Marine and fishing
2. Military and defence
2. Infantry soldier
4. Motor mechanic
7. Private security contractor
10. Intelligence analyst
The research also found that over half of the most manly jobs were outdoor-based, while over two thirds (70%) were predominantly or entirely manual roles, including blacksmiths, mechanics, chefs and butchers. Intelligence analysts were the only office-based professionals in the top ten.
What makes a profession manly?
When asked to rank the defining qualities of the ‘manly roles’, over a third (34%) selected problem solving. Men were more likely than women to view harsh working conditions as a sign of a manly job, while women were more likely to view uniform and specialist workwear as a marker of manliness.
What makes a job manly? Percentage of people ranking it as manliest quality
Problem solving ability 34%
Harshness of working conditions 22%
Specialist uniform or workwear 21%
High danger levels 14%
High salary 9%
Notes to editors
*Stormline surveyed 1,073 UK adults between the dates of February 2nd 2015 and February 25th 2015, of whom 611 were men and 462 were women. Participants were asked to rate over 200 predominantly male industries and professions (according to the Office for National Statistics**) as one of the following;
They were also asked to rank the most manly quality of a job, selecting from five potential answers.
Stormline is a family business founded in 1966 by George McMillan in Invercargill, New Zealand. The company manufactures high quality workwear for a range of industries.