It is well known that women struggle to break the glass ceiling. They consistently lag behind men in their earnings by 83% and still battle gender equality in the workplace. Women make up 45% of total employees in Fortune 500 companies, yet only hold 5.8% of CEO jobs.
Research also tells us that only 6% of women earn enough to match the top 20% of male earners. Only 25% of female graduates earn above the median of male graduates with similar educations. Why the pay gap?
Firstly, it has to do with the majors women choose in college. Many opt for the arts, literature or health-related fields. However rewarding these careers may be, their earning power is far less than careers in STEM: Science, Technology Engineering, and Math. The second reason for the pay gap is that women often trade their earning power for workplace flexibility.
With more companies now embracing work-from-home options, this opens up opportunities for women. They can advance their careers with the flexibility they seek and bridge the gender pay gap.
Here are 9 high-paying careers for women in great demand.
1. Human Resource Manager
The devastating effects of the global pandemic still reverberate around the country. The impact this has had on the way businesses operate has been wide-reaching. When you consider the chaos injected into the labor market, there is no wonder that human resource specialists are now in high demand.
As businesses look at the return-to-work options and cementing work-from-home options, the sheer amount of retraining and reskilling is massive. This is a substantial human resource undertaking to help employees adapt to a post-pandemic world.
Changing Business Models
The pandemic forced many companies to reconsider their business models. Businesses had to change the way they operated with work from home edicts. Now, their human capital is being redeployed as companies continue to restructure. This change requires competent, highly trained human resource personnel to lead the way.
We all know how Zoom became popular as companies switched from face-to-face meetings to the online world. While you might expect many businesses to revert to in-office environments, online business is here to stay.
Even before the global pandemic, we saw new technologies were disrupting jobs, and the workforce needed a new set of skills to adapt. A recent McKinsey survey found that 87% of senior executives were experiencing skills gaps in the workforce. The skills gap opens up a world of career opportunities for women — not just in human resources, also in technology.
While the average salary of a generalist human resources specialist sits at $59,307 a year, the range for a human resource manager typically sits between $83,565 and $130,264 per year.
2. Data Analyst
We are facing a world of big data, and with that comes a need for data analysis. To remain competitive, companies need to leverage their data to connect with their customers more than ever in an online world. Retail, in particular, was hit badly during the pandemic as more and more people were forced to shop online. Brick and mortar businesses aren’t as relevant today as consumers got used to shopping with their smartphones.
To reach consumers in an online world, big data has become the new gold. Marketers, in particular, need to leverage data to understand how consumers interact with their brands. Before data can be used, it must first be extracted and analyzed. Data analysts are now in high demand, which opens up opportunities for women in tech.
Digital analyst salaries range from $68,340 to $86,835 a year, depending on the city, company size, experience and skill.
3. Digital Marketer
With such a massive shift to online activities, we also see an increase in the need for digital marketers. Digital marketing continues to dominate the world of marketing. We see a substantial percentage of total marketing budgets dedicated to digital marketing.
Marketing has always been a field that attracted women. Digital marketing opens up even more opportunities for women as graphic designers, content writers, link builders, web developers and virtual assistants.
Because much of this work can be done remotely, women can now have that flexibility with work-from-home options without impacting their careers. One reason for the gender gap is the number of women needing to take time away from their careers to start a family. It meant men naturally could gain more experience by staying in the workforce. As men also have work-from-home options, they can now play a more significant role in sharing parenting duties, leaving women more time to spend on their careers.
The average salary for a digital marketer sits at $54,672 a year, depending on experience. A digital marketing manager role typically falls between $93,352 and $128,738.
4. App Developer
With 77% of Americans having smartphones, and 62% of these having made a purchase with their device, app developers will continue to be in high demand. With in-app advertising expected to rise to $201 billion in 2021, this opens a world of opportunities for women interested in a career in developing applications.
Women are natural problem solvers and known for their ability to multitask. With a background in information technology and knowledge of multiple programming languages, this is a natural progression for women in tech.
Mobile users account for more than half of all internet traffic. With 66% of smartphone users addicted to their phones, coupled with the internet of things (IoT) era, there will continue to be a high demand for app developers both in-house and as a freelancer.
An app developer can make $69,590 to $102,367 a year.
5. Cybersecurity Professional
According to the Women in Cyber Security Literature Review, women are vastly underrepresented in the cybersecurity industry.
According to the International Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA), women in cybersecurity only make up 11% of the security workforce globally. Of that 11%, half of the positions are either entry-level or non-managerial positions. Yet, with new technologies and changes in online consumer behavior, cybersecurity has to be a significant preoccupation for business in the next ten years.
Women traditionally aren’t seen as technology professionals. Although females are exposed to STEM careers from a young age, they aren’t encouraged to pursue careers in Information Technology. When thinking about high-paying careers for women with the flexibility to work from home, cybersecurity and information technology need to be top of mind.
As workplaces become more digital coupled with internet-integrated processes, the greater the risk of cyberattacks becomes. For this reason, cybersecurity is an excellent field for women to pursue as a career.
The average salary for cybersecurity professionals in the US sits at $103,000 a year. Some women make as much as $250,000 a year. However, this depends on the scope of the job and the size of the company.
6. Six Sigma Professional
As more and more corporations operate in a global market, there is an ongoing need to remain competitive. Operational efficiencies continue to be top of mind. Six Sigma professionals are in high demand and are another opening for women interested in STEM.
Six Sigma professions are either categorized as “Black Belt” or “Green Belt” professions. This is an industry that focuses predominantly on process improvement and quality control across numerous industries.
These roles are grouped more broadly under project management roles with average annual salaries of $97,919 for a green belt and $129,100 for a black belt.
7. Computer and Information Systems Manager
Another career to consider is one in Information Technology Systems Management. These are roles that devise and implement computer-related projects. They may work in hardware or software along with web design database development. They also get involved in designing overarching IT strategies.
Most IT managers come with a bachelor’s degree in information technology-related fields; however, many possess more specific graduate degrees.
As a female IT manager, you would expect to earn a median annual income of $97,831.
8. Software Developer
Software developers are the ones who create and help devise computer programs. Their scope ranges anywhere from analyzing users’ needs to designing applications. They also help write code to improve existing software. The Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts a faster than average growth of 22% growth between 2019 and 2029.
Software developers earn a median annual income of $91,111.
9. The Healthcare Industry
There will always be a sustained need for healthcare professionals leading into the future, from aged care to nursing and pharmacists to nursing practitioners. While careers in other STEM-related fields are more male-dominated, the healthcare industry does attract a disproportionate number of women by comparison.
The careers in the healthcare industry that have higher-paying opportunities are pharmacists and nurse practitioners.
Pharmacists manage and dispense medication. Additionally, they offer advice on what medication is used for. Many pharmacists work in drugstores and grocery store pharmacies, though you may find some who work in hospitals and other clinical settings. To become a pharmacist, you must have a Doctor of Pharmacy degree and need to be licensed. Female pharmacists earn an income of around $98,280 per year.
Nurse practitioners either work independently of physicians or in collaboration with them. They provide primary or specialty healthcare, and unlike registered nurses, they can write prescriptions for medication. They undergo advanced training and need a master’s degree in the field. Nurse practitioners earn a median income of $98,332 per year.
If you are a young woman interested in a career that delivers a high-paying salary, you can see the advantage of taking STEM-related courses in high school and college. With diversity in the workforce being such a hot topic, companies are crying out to employ more women in STEM-related fields.