5 Traditionally Masculine Jobs and Their Female Pioneers

Today women account for nearly half of the workforce worldwide and this number grows every day. But despite them reaching new levels of success at work, some fields remain heavily dominated by men.

Many of these occupations are seen as stereotypically “male” jobs; however, some of these jobs, typical for the gentlemen’s club that we see today, had feminine influence. Here are some of them.


 The first programmer was a woman

The male-dominated world of technology today owes a lot to the founder of 19th century scientific computing: Ada Byron, Countess of Lovelace. Byron collaborated with Charles Babbage, called the “Father of Computers”, in writing the world’s first programming code. But Byron was not the only forerunner of computer science. During World War II, six female mathematicians who were nicknamed “human computers,” invented one of the first fully electronic computers in the world.

During the most part of history, women produced beer.

Throughout Europe in the Middle Ages women were masters in brewing and lots were called “alewives” or “brewsters” and used their talents to make money.

With the industrialisation of the 17th century, brewing has become a large-scale business and jobs in factories were given to men.

Between 1916 and 1923, women were leaders in film production.

Hundreds of women were working as writers, directors, producers and publishers in the early 20th century and many of these stories were only recently discovered by Harvard professor Jane Gaines.

Gaines established that between 1916-1923 women actually had more power in the film industry than in any other US industry. (Unfortunately, 90% of American movies made before 1929 haven’t been properly preserved and much of this work can’t be enjoyed today.)

Women were the original drummers

According to Layne Redmond, author of When The Drummers Were Women, the first drummer known in history was Lipushiau, a priestess of Mesopotamia.

The drums had connotations with birth and fertility and were sacred to women. Women played drums during religious rituals for about 3000 years in human history.


Women were some of the most prominent healers in the beginning of mankind

Many women were highly respected medical specialists in ancient Egypt and Greece.

Throughout history of the beginning of Europe, the nuns often worked as healers, and some, such as Hildegard of Bingen, wrote influential records of cures and treatments used often in the medical fields of gynaecology and childbirth.

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