The list below is neither complete nor exhaustive—these are just some examples of professions and careers for which an education in women's and gender studies may prove to be highly beneficial.
An education in women's and genders studies will not necessarily give you direct access to the listed jobs. In most cases, you will need additional training and education, including possibly graduate school. Yet your women's and gender studies education will provide you with significant advantages, some of which are highlighted below in relation to some select professions.
Business and Marketing
Many companies—both large and small—have a hard time adapting their business practices to the changes occurring in our society. They often rely on the perspective of outside professionals who have a better handle on issues related to gender, sexuality, and cultural trends. Women’s and gender studies is more relevant to the business world than many people realize.
Having as CEOs individuals with an education in women’s and gender studies brings to the board a greater diversity of viewpoints and sensitivities, which may affect the quality of board deliberations,especially when complex issues are involved. At the same time, according to some research, CEOs with women’s and gender studies backgrounds often tend to be less conformist and more creative, more likely to express their independent views, and more sensitive to issues of disparities and social justice in decision-making processes, to the greater benefits of many stake-holders.
Human Resources (HR) Manager
Understanding women and gender-related issues can be extremely valuable when it comes to recruiting, interviewing, hiring, and retaining employees. After all, organizations everywhere continue to grapple with things like pay equity, sexual harassment, parental leave, sexism and gender discrimination in the workplace, and similar issues.
Do you ever wonder how certain businesses and advertisers can be so hopelessly out of touch with today's social and cultural realities? A background in women’s and gender studies could prove to be extremely useful when it comes to marketing products or services in ways that appeal to particular groups of people.
Among many other skills, an education in women’s and gender studies can make you proficient at cooperating with diverse people, organizing a complex assortment of detailed information, and keeping track of the big picture. That's why you might excel in jobs that involve project management. All kinds of progressive companies and non-profit organizations need people with that combination of skills and social and cultural expertise.
Community and Social Services
Community Outreach Coordinator
Whether you want to promote public health, evaluate the needs of marginalized people in your community, or increase public awareness of a particular cause, this type of role allows you to do a lot of good. And many of the skills you need are the same ones you can develop as a women’s and gender studies student.
Your community might have all kinds of great organizations that support worthy social causes. And many of them probably host events to celebrate successes, solicit public support, or get their messages out. Why not use your organizational skills to help plan and coordinate such events? For example, with an education in LGBTQ+ studies, you can help organize pride festivals in your region or create job fairs or networking events for marginalized people in your community.
Human Services Manager
Some of the most rewarding women's and gender studies related jobs are in the field of social and community services. That's because this type of work requires traits like tolerance and good judgment, as well as the ability to recognize disparities, perceive social cues, and find the best resources and individualized solutions for a diverse range of people.
Whether you want to help children, families, addicts, or people with physical or mental health problems, this field is a great match for women’s and gender studies students. It allows you to draw upon a huge variety of skills, not to mention your well-honed understanding of social issues, their causes, and their potential solutions.
Do you have an interest in preserving important historical records and documents? Imagine having a job in which you get to help safeguard records related to aspects of history like the civil rights movement or women's suffrage. Through women’s and gender studies, you learn a lot about history, but you also gain skills that many archivists use every day.
Gender Studies Professor
Some people mistakenly believe that this is the only possible job where an education in women’s and gender studies is helpful. Obviously, they are wrong—as you can see from this list. Still, teaching college students about issues of gender and sexuality can definitely be one of the most rewarding jobs in women’s and gender studies.
Your education in women’s and gender studies can be beneficial in your becoming a teacher. An education in women’s and gender studies will help you attain the necessary resourcefulness, social perceptiveness, and communication skills that are needed when dealing with students of all ages.
Family and Relationship Therapist
Issues related to gender and sexuality play a big role in many relationship problems. That's why an education in women’s and gender studies is often a terrific way to prepare for additional education in this field.
Health Services Manager
Also known as a healthcare coordinator or administrator, this kind of professional gets to oversee and direct a medical facility, physicians' office, or hospital department. That's a lot of responsibility, but this career provides the opportunity to help ensure that everyone—regardless of gender, sexual orientation, social stature, or identity—receives timely and effective care in accordance with the law and relevant regulations. Pairing your women’s and gender studies education with additional education in health management or administration is a good way to qualify for this field.
From employee morale to sensitive issues like sexism or sexual harassment, this type of psychology professional helps organizations develop solutions for all kinds of workplace-related problems. Women’s and gender studies can give you a wide base of relevant skills that you can build on.
Mental Health Counselor
Marginalized people are often at higher risk of developing problems such as low self-esteem, depression, or anxiety. As someone with a women’s and gender studies background, you could be well-prepared to offer support to women, troubled youth, minorities, or LGBTQ+ couples and individuals.
Women's and gender studies provides a great base of knowledge for pursuing an education and career in nursing. This occupation is particularly well-suited for those who want to make a difference in the lives of women. Of course, you'll need to become a licensed registered nurse (RN) first and gain some experience. But then you can help people plan their families, provide prenatal care, and even deliver babies.
Licensed nurses continue to be in high demand. With a background in women’s and gender studies, you can begin your nursing career with much more knowledge to draw upon than a lot of other nurses.
Media and Communication
In this type of role, you can use your writing and speaking abilities to help manage an organization's external communications. But you can also help craft and distribute important internal communications, which may deal with sensitive topics such as sexual harassment, discrimination, or other issues that you probably care about.
Hollywood has a long history of assigning women to the same types of stereotypical roles in movies and TV shows. Actors with non-conforming gender identities have also struggled to get good roles. But that's starting to change thanks to the courage of more progressive writers, producers, directors, agents, and other professionals. That's why, with a women's and gender studies education, you would be helpful in recruiting and hiring actors (of every gender and gender identity) for film or TV projects that more accurately represent our diverse society.
Along with great writing skills, many women’s and gender studies students have good judgment and the ability to verify facts, make well-reasoned decisions, organize information, and stay focused on the bigger picture. That's why a lot of good editors—in both traditional and non-traditional media—have pursued this type of educational background.
You don't have to jump straight into being a writer or editor in order to start contributing to the work of a great media outlet. If you have a women’s and gender studies background, being an editorial assistant can be a perfect way to refine some of your skills and begin forming your own voice and vision based on what you care most about.
Do you have a real interest in current events and a yearning to help inform the public? Women’s and gender studies can make you good at researching, writing, verifying facts, analyzing information, thinking critically, and many other skills that are necessary for being a great journalist. You could even specialize in covering particular topics of interest, such as LGBTQ+ or women's issues.
Media analysts are often involved in managing the reputation of organizations or specific brands. So they need to know how people of different social identities are portrayed in traditional and online media, including social media. Of course, analytical skills are also needed in this occupation, something that women’s and gender studies students often have in spades.
Public Relations Specialist
Public perception seems to be more important than ever. But many organizations and public figures continue to make mistakes or show a general lack of social or cultural awareness. That’s where women’s and gender studies students can come in. Your greater understanding of the world can be used to help educate clients, employers, or even the general public. And you can help those you work for develop and maintain reputations that are more favorable within today’s society.
With a women’s and gender studies education, jobs that involve writing should definitely be on your radar. After all, effective written communication is likely to be one of your top skills after completing such a deep yet wide-ranging area of study. Even if you don’t want to be an independent author, many good staff opportunities are available in traditional publishing, digital media, and corporate and non-profit environments. You may even want to explore creative writing possibilities related to film or video game development.
Public Policy, Politics, and The Law
Human Rights Advocate
This type of work is one of the most meaningful things you can do with a women’s and gender studies education. Jobs that involve championing the rights of marginalized groups or individuals are vital to the cause of creating a society in which everyone is treated with fairness and dignity and has both the opportunity and the means to thrive.
By bringing your women’s and gender studies education into the court of laws and helping elucidate how laws and rulings can be based on gender stereotypes, or how they might have a different impact on women and men, you will be able to help enhance the fairness of adjudication, which ultimately benefits both men and women.
Judicial Law Clerk
With a career in legal assistance and criminal justice, you can do your part to help ensure that marginalized people get a fair shake in the court system. Along with your social and cultural insights, the research, writing, and organizational skills you develop as a women’s and gender studies student can be put to great use as an essential assistant to judges.
You probably care a lot about civil rights. So why not use your women’s and gender studies education as a launching point for an education and career in law? That way, you can make a practical difference in the efforts to protect the rights and freedoms of people who may be marginalized in our communities.
Do you care a lot about the impacts that certain laws and public policies have on women or the LGBTQ+ community? Why not channel that passion into a career in which you get to convince politicians to support actions that make the United States and the world more inclusive and better for everyone? Students with an education in women’s and gender studies are often known for their ability to talk about controversial topics and persuade others.
Non-Profit Program Director
Do you long to make a positive difference in the world for marginalized people? All kinds of non-profit agencies, foundations, crisis centers, health clinics, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) need well-educated professionals to manage and oversee their programs. A women’s and gender studies education offers a complement for this type of career.
Most urban communities are full of diversity. But that diversity can represent a real challenge for people in law enforcement who don’t have much background knowledge about social disparities or cultural inequities. That’s why people with an education in women’s and gender studies can be very valuable members of city police departments.
This won’t come as any big surprise, but politicians don’t know everything. They need smart people on their teams who are well-educated on as many subjects as possible and can provide timely and intelligent insights about issues affecting their constituents. So people with a women’s and gender studies education are often a great fit for this type of work.
Unions may not be as abundant or powerful as they once were, but that could all change as new political trends emerge. Besides, workers in many industries still have a lot to fight for, such as pay equity, parental leave, and equal opportunities. That’s why an education in women’s and gender studies is a good complement for anyone who wants to help unions boost or maintain their status as bulwarks against the pitfalls of greed and capitalism.
Here’s another great way to help make the criminal justice system work for everyone. With the ability to listen, communicate, perceive social cues, and recognize disparities that you develop through a women’s and gender studies education, you can help victims of domestic violence or other crimes obtain the resources and assistance they need in order to leave bad situations or put their lives back together.