It’s no secret that having a baby is crazy expensive. And that, in the United States, paid family leave policies are downright dismal. *On top* of that, having kids just isn’t in the cards for a lot of women, for reasons around money, work or something else. It’s 2018; I don’t know how this is still a shocker to some.
But as it turns out, your choice of career could indicate whether you’re more likely to be surrounded by women who also don't have kids.
A new list from career site Zippia crunched US Census data to determine the industries where women over age 45, who held jobs between 2011 and 2015, are least likely to have kids.
The Jobs Where Women Are Least Likely to Have Kids
1. Optometrists — 47% without kids
2. Chemical engineers — 42% without kids
3. Dentists — 38% without kids
4. Economists — 35% without kids
5. Physical scientists — 34% without kids
6. Physicians and surgeons — 34% without kids
7. Miscellaneous engineers, including nuclear engineers — 33% without kids
8. Physical therapists — 33% without kids
9 Computer and information research scientists — 32% without kids
10. Urban and regional planners — 31% without kids
One resounding commonality is that many of these jobs fall into STEM fields, which historically have been dominated by men. It could be that, in women choosing these “non-traditional” career paths, they also choose to not follow social expectations to have kids of their own.
It also doesn’t help that, given the gender gap in these fields, it’s less likely that women hold positions of leadership here, potentially limiting the representation of women who are also mothers and successful in their fields. Underrepresentation in the workplace, meet vicious cycle.
Many of these occupations are also incredibly time-intensive — in both training as well as on a day-to-day level — so it makes sense that women in these roles may choose to focus on their profession rather than on raising children. Some women, in pursuing these professions, might have also known full well that they never wanted kids and could therefore dedicate their attention to growing in these careers.
Overall, if you’re a woman in one these jobs and for whatever reason know having a baby isn't for you, good for you! And if you do value both a career and raising children? Way to go! If you’re a woman and rocking it in your life and passions — whatever they may be — you’re thriving, too. Keep at it, ladies!