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Top 5 healthcare professions dominated by women globally

Globally, 70% of the health and social workforce are women compared to 41% in all employment sectors.

Women constitute a significant majority of the global healthcare workforce, particularly in nursing and midwifery.

It is estimated that women provide essential services to around 5 billion people worldwide.

The financial contribution of women in this sector is estimated to be over $3 trillion annually.

The nursing and midwifery workforce, which is nearly 50% of the global health workforce, includes about 27 million individuals.

Although women are well-represented in various healthcare professions globally, occupational segregation remains a significant issue with a clear gender divide in the types of roles men and women occupy within healthcare.

Women are predominantly found in nursing and midwifery, where 24 million out of the 28.5 million nurses and midwives globally are women, while men are more likely to be in physician and specialist roles.

This segregation contributes to a gender pay gap, with women in healthcare earning on average 28% less than their male counterparts.

Naijaonpoint has ranked the top healthcare professions dominated by women based on data from the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Bureau of Labour Statistics (BLS).

The field of pharmacy has seen a growing number of women, with many countries reporting more female than male pharmacists and pharmacist technicians.

According to BLS, 59.6% of practising pharmacists globally are women.

Pharmacists are healthcare professionals who specialise in the formulation, procurement, dispensation, sale, storage, and distribution of pharmaceuticals.

More than 69% of the public health workforce consists of women, who are crucial in promoting effective practices, fostering healthy living environments, and safeguarding against diseases.

This category includes professions such as physical therapists, occupational therapists, and speech-language pathologists.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), speech-language pathologists had the highest female representation in 2021 and 2022, with women constituting 97.6% of the profession.

About 85.9% of occupational therapists, 70.2% of physical therapists, and 80.4% of massage therapists are women.

About 85.9% of occupational therapists, 70.2% of physical therapists, and 80.4% of massage therapists are women.

96.3% of dental hygienists and 94.1% of dental assistants are women.

Dental hygienists are dental professionals who assist patients in maintaining oral health by preventing and treating periodontal diseases.

Dental assistants play a vital role in patient care, focusing on ensuring comfort, preparing patients and organising the workspace for treatment and procedures.

Nursing and midwifery have traditionally had a high proportion of women.

According to WHO, nurses and midwives account for 50% of the global health workforce.

Nurses and midwives are crucial to the delivery of healthcare services, and they often make up the largest segment of the healthcare workforce in many countries.

90% of nursing assistants, 88.9% of licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses, 88.7% of nurse practitioners, and 87.9% of registered nurses are women.