Why secretary is still the top job for women
January 31st, 2013
03:59 PM ET

Why secretary is still the top job for women

By Annalyn Kurtz  @CNNMoney

(CNN Money) - What's the most common job for American women?

The same as it was in the 1950s: secretary.

About 4 million workers in the United States fell under the category of "secretaries and administrative assistants" between 2006 and 2010, and 96% of them were women, according to the U.S. Census.

How secretary became women's work

The rise of the secretary began with the Industrial Revolution, which created an enormous amount of paperwork. In the early 20th century, it became a female job as companies realized they could pay women lower wages to do the work.

Secretarial schools offered professional training, which made it possible for many women to enter the career without a full college education.

It wasn't until 1950 that it became the most popular job among women. Back then, 1.7 million women worked in a category the Census defined as "stenographers, typists or secretaries."

While the title has evolved since then, it remains the top female job.

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Filed under: Economy • Gender • History • How we live • Women
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