And then if you look at the US census data on occupations by gender, you can easily notice a trend in which jobs have what gender ratios. Roughly speaking it's something like "if the pay and requirements are equivalent, which is a more preferable job" often lands on female dominated fields.
Education, training, and library occupations: 73.1% female
Healthcare support occupations: 86.5%
Law enforcement workers including supervisors: 19.7%
Office and administrative support occupations: 70.8%
Natural resources, construction, and maintenance occupations: 5.1%
Production, transportation, and material moving occupations: 22.8%
The one big outlier to this pattern that I noticed was "Computer, engineering, and science occupations" at 25.7%. This also is a considerable category outlier in terms of skill requirements and competitiveness. "Management occupations" seems like it should also have some of this effect but to a lesser degree, and sits at 40.3%.
Source: American Community Survey, table S2401
Another interesting tidbit is comparing S2401 with S2402 - comparing all workers with only full-time year-round ones. I haven't done a full look, but one thing that jumped out at me is that excluding part-time or part-year workers drops the overall workforce percentage from 47.5% to 43.1%. It might be confounded somewhat by school teachers being considered "part year" and mostly women, though.
“Roughly speaking it's something like "if the pay and requirements are equivalent, which is a more preferable job" often lands on female dominated fields.”
Could you explain what you mean by a preferable job? Because I think an office administrative job probably sucks a ton of dick. Education also broadly sucks as a career, especially given the political climate. Healthcare support super duper sucks, but the only healthcare support I know about is those assistants for the elderly which involves a lot of really unpleasant work, or nursing which is also really unpleasant and involves stuff like cleaning up vomit and shit.
It's a desk job that gets you home at a consistent time, and requires little specialized training. It's got sucky aspects, sure, but at that level of candidate competitiveness it beats out a lot of other choices.
It's got a ton of extrinsic social reward in it. People like and respect teachers, and you get to see the result of your work when your students do well.
Again, lots of extrinsic social reward. The people you care for get better and appreciate you, and you're part of the mission to help people get better. Keep the unpleasant cleaning and remove the thankfulness and you get janitorial work, which is male dominated.