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Lawyer-Turned-Teacher Says Desire for Family Time Explains Why More Men Go ‘Pink Collar’

Posted May 24, 2012 5:30 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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Adrian Ortiz made more money in Mexico than in the United States, but he’s not complaining.

Ortiz, 42, was a lawyer in Mexico. Now he’s a kindergarten teacher in a bilingual classroom in Houston, a job that gives him more time for family, the New York Times reports. Another man who opted for a teaching job is Charles Reed, who decided against law school and now teaches math to sixth graders.

Ortiz and Reed are among an increasing number of men who are taking jobs once dominated by women.

In a 10-year period ending in 2010, almost a third of all job growth for men occurred in occupations that are more than 70 percent female, the newspaper found. The trend is particularly pronounced among young, white male college grads. What accounts for the change? According to the Times, “Several men cited the same reasons for seeking out pink-collar work that have drawn women to such careers: less stress and more time at home.”

Men who make the career change may fare better than women, however. Men in women-dominated professions still earn more than females, the newspaper says. And in a "glass escalator" phenomenon, white men who go into such professions are more readily promoted to supervisor jobs.

Updated at 9:10 a.m. to include additional information.

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