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10 Fields Where the Glass Ceiling Isn't Even Cracked


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Tool and Die Maker
This unnamed young woman is believed to be the first female tool and die maker in Canada in 1941. Toronto Star Archives/Toronto Star via Getty Images
This unnamed young woman is believed to be the first female tool and die maker in Canada in 1941. Toronto Star Archives/Toronto Star via Getty Images

One of the top male-dominated jobs in the U.S. is that of tool-and-die maker. Tool-and-die makers work in manufacturing, analyzing specifications, setting up and operating machine tools, and fitting and assembling parts to make and repair dies, jigs, gauges and other tools. The job typically pays about $50,000 per year. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are about 56,000 tool-and-die makers in America. A scant 0.8 percent of them are female [sources: Catalyst].

It's hard to say for certain why so few women are attracted to this job. Some experts note manufacturing has a negative reputation as a dirty, noisy environment, which turns off women. Plus a 2014 survey conducted by The Manufacturing Institute and Deloittefound only 35 percent of Americans would encourage their kids to check out manufacturing jobs, despite the decent pay and upgraded workplaces.

Others note far fewer girls grow up taking apart machines and doing other mechanical things, which gives them less confidence in these kinds of fields. And as with many of the jobs on this list, it's always intimidating to enter a field dominated by members of the opposite sex, where there's not always a sense of community, and sometimes the threat of hostility [sources: Barrett].


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