The recent economic downturn and increased unemployment has forced many people to look ‘out of the box’ for employment, especially for women. The typical standby restaurant and retail jobs, as well as others, have greatly diminished and affected workers have begun to assess where the next generation of secure employment will lie. The healthcare industry has become the emerging field of secure employment. The realization of increased diversity in the healthcare industry has opened new doors for females, especially in the Paramedic and EMT professionals.
Women are becoming Emergency Medical Technicians and Paramedics at an increased rate. According to Bureau of Labor statistics, men are a majority of EMS workers (about 70%) in the industry. However, women are quickly becoming noticed as experts in this industry. Their tendency to work hard, have compassion, and care for every person without partiality gives women the upper hand in becoming successful. Naturally, women have found the particular choice of becoming a paramedic/EMT to be quite rewarding as a lifetime profession.
The profession of EMT consists of high stress situations in a male-dominated field. Although sexism appears to thrive in similar situations, the stigma that attached to the harassment sometimes directed at female police officers, firefighters, and other type professions is not as prevalent in the EMT community. It is suggested that this is due to the relatively new organizational nature of paramedics, and the ‘unsung’ nature of the job, the stereotype is less engrained. In any case, women are being called more and more to this profession because of the appeal of, and the perceived compatibility to the job.
But in more recent years, women have felt the calling to be part of this vocation to save lives, prevent injuries, and to cure ill health. The desire to work in a fast paced yet professional environment, along with the opportunity to help people in need, makes many women feel as if the job of a paramedic or an EMT is for them. Additionally, healthcare careers provide peace of mind in a volatile job market. In the next few decades, it is projected that a major shift in who the majority of leaders are in the paramedic/EMT/EMS industries are and will quickly occur as demand for job security arises. Men will no longer hold the title as “majority leader” as EMS employees, but the trend will result in a more equal division.