Back in December 2009, Half Sigma predicted that nursing, and implicitly other female-dominated health professions, will become male:
The demand for nurses increases every year, but at the same time there’s declining demand for decent-paying traditionally male blue collar jobs. As a result, you see more men going into nursing today than you did ten or twenty years ago.
. . .
Currently, there is still a stigma attached to male nurses, and this scares away most men from nursing. But as the number of male nurses increases, there will eventually be a tipping point at which time the stigma will go away and men will flood into the field. After the tipping point, nursing will rapidly become a predominately male profession.
Two and a half years later, the New York Times has caught up with my prediction:
A male dental assistant, Mr. Alquicira is in the minority. But he is also part of a distinctive, if little noticed, shift in workplace gender patterns. Over the last decade, men have begun flocking to fields long the province of women.
Little noticed by most people maybe, but it was noticed by Half Sigma.
Mr. Alquicira, 21, graduated from high school in a desolate job market, one in which the traditional opportunities, like construction and manufacturing, for young men without a college degree had dried up. After career counselors told him that medical fields were growing, he borrowed money for an eight-month training course. Since then, he has had no trouble finding jobs that pay $12 or $13 an hour.
He gave little thought to the fact that more than 90 percent of dental assistants and hygienists are women. But then, young men like Mr. Alquicira have come of age in a world of inverted expectations, where women far outpace men in earning degrees and tend to hold jobs that have turned out to be, by and large, more stable, more difficult to outsource, and more likely to grow.
“The way I look at it,” Mr. Alquicira explained, without a hint of awareness that he was turning the tables on a time-honored feminist creed, “is that anything, basically, that a woman can do, a guy can do.”
I love that last remark. Anything that a woman can do, a man can also do.
The NY Times article even addressed the stigma issue:
In interviews, however, about two dozen men played down the economic considerations, saying that the stigma associated with choosing such jobs had faded, and that the jobs were appealing not just because they offered stable employment, but because they were more satisfying.
I was two and a half years ahead of the New York Times in spotting this trend.