If you've ever taken a drive down Interstate 15 between Ogden and Provo, you know that the economy is booming in the Beehive state. It seems like there are new buildings hosting countless businesses every week.
According to Deseret News, Utahns continue to showcase their industrious side, leading the nation in job growth over the last 10 years. And with women making up 70% of the workforce, according to the Department of Workforce Services, there’s never been more gender equality in the workforce in Utah. In fact, women in Utah have more employment options now than ever before.
Employment diversification is happening
Whether it’s a prediction or a promise, the buzz in society right now says "the future is female." In Utah, employment trends are on track to make that statement true. According to Utah Valley University, Utah has experienced occupational segregation for decades. Basically, this means women have held jobs in fields where almost all of the employees are women. While this still exists within the state, Utah is making strides in diversification. Between 1980 and 2000, the percentage of women working in women-dominated fields went from 25% to 10%. Now, fields that mostly hired men are hiring more women and vice versa.
Industries in science, technology, engineering and math – or STEM – will likely continue to diversify. According to Utah Valley University, Utah is investing heavily in promoting K-12 STEM education for girls and supporting STEM employment for women. Part of that initiative was the creation of a $10 million STEM Action Center aimed at creating a more competitive and diversified workforce.
Your skills don’t have to match the industry
Understandably, not having an educational background in science and technology holds many women back from pursuing jobs in those fields — jobs that could pay more and provide better benefits than those in other industries. But according to Forbes, if you don’t have a medical degree or experience working as an engineer, you’re not out of luck, since many tech-related jobs don’t require advanced math or computer science skills. Instead, they suggest learning to make current skills relevant to the position or business for which you’re applying.
Forbes advises that research, study design, clear writing and crafting persuasive arguments — all skills acquired through arts-related degrees — are “invaluable in tech jobs.”
Additionally, with technology constantly advancing, many of Utah’s booming businesses blur the lines between industries and disciplines, requiring workers with a wide variety of backgrounds and experience. For example, BioFire Defense, a Utah-based company that creates advanced diagnostic equipment, blends the healthcare, technology and biotech industries, creating job opportunities for women in fields such as sales, marketing, manufacturing, engineering, software development, IT, accounting and more.
The glass ceiling is shattering
Regardless of the industry, more women in Utah will be rising through the corporate ranks. Research by Utah Valley Univesity shows Utah still sees fewer women in management than the national average, but businesses throughout the state are determined to change that. During the 2018 Silicon Slopes Tech Summit, 130 companies signed a ParityPledge, promising to interview at least one woman for every open executive management position.
Some companies did not sign the pledge — because they are already employing women in executive positions. For example, BioFire Defense has five women on its senior leadership team.
BioFire Defense is already ahead of the curve in Utah. Apply to join its team of diverse, powerful industry leaders if you’re interested in pursuing a rewarding career in technology, healthcare or biotech.