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Men doing "Women's Work"
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Do men feel stunted in careers traditionally filled by women? This question asked by Encarta got me thinking a bit back to my early teaching career and then looking today at the current supervisory/management structure.

I can't speak to the career and promotional opportunities for men in fields such as nursing and travel agents, but as for teaching, being a man in a woman's world is definitely an advantage. I was an elementary school teacher, and these are my own observations.

It's true that the men were saddled with all the extra-curricular stuff: coaching and supervising after school clubs and heading the grade level meetings. But they were also given extra assignments which enhanced their careers: they went to the regional meetings, attended the review committees for textbooks, were invited to the superintendent's luncheons. It took fewer than 10 years (more like 5) to jump into the administrative positions.

Every single man I worked with in those days ended up being promoted through the ranks to vice principal, principal and on up into the central bureaucracy, if they didn't drop out along the way and go into a more lucrative career outside the school system.

One of my fellow teachers is now earning a six-figure salary as a high-level bureaucrat. The women I taught with? Well, some, like me, left teaching and went into other careers. Others, like my friend Maureen, spent 20 years in the trenches and finally scratched a way to a principal's position, which is as far as she will go.

But most are still teaching, or retired, not from lack of ambition or intelligence or ability or experience, but from the lack of good ol' boy contacts and from a lack of the right biological equipment.

So I would say, for teachers, being a man in a woman's world is a definite head start for promotion.

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