Men who factor finding women into their career equations by heading into professions full of females may find a mate -- but they may also have to pay a big price.
"The careers that have the most men in them are the careers that pay the most money," says writer Shelley Klein. "That's just the way this unfair world works. Men probably are going to be paid less if they go into an area where the women are the majority."
Based on a study by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics pinpointing occupations with the highest percentage of women as of 1980, labor experts say each of these professions employs more than a half million women, making up more than 72 percent of their workforces. (Annual incomes based on 1980 median weekly salaries.)
Secretaries: $10,868 annual salary.
Elementary school teachers: $15,444.
Sales workers: $14,508.
Registered nurses: $15,444.
Sewing machine operators: $7,488.
Child-care workers: $7,488.
For men who view eight hours at the sewing machine as too great a sacrifice for romance, Klein recommends looking beyond statistical advantage for professions newly populated by women. Publishing, for example, or real estate. Not commercial real estate, selling space, where it's 93 percent men, but in selling houses where in the last few years droves of women have gone into business."
*Klein also says creativity helps: "To suggest you go work in a hair salon doesn't mean a man has to be a beautician. You don't have to be a model to open a modeling agency, right? Start a talent agency and scout campuses to sign girls up for acting careers."
The best career for meeting the opposite sex, says Klein, is making up a career: Being an entrepreneur. "If you are starting a business, you have a built-in excuse to meet men or women. You go to a bank for a loan and meet people. You have an excuse to call 3,000 people this week and talk to them. Business gives people the built-in excuse to talk to people.
"In the '80s, the second you start talking about business and making money, you can talk to a person about almost anything."