We ask all of you to reflect on how the women in your life are treated. Do they receive equal pay? Do they have equal opportunities? Are they free of prejudice? Harassment? Are they ridiculed for being female? With blatant sexism still so prevalent in today’s society, we still need feminism…for every girl around the world.
Working in funeral service is no different. Funeral Service is a field traditionally dominated by men. As women started working within the industry, they were met with opposition.
‘I’ve had clergy refuse to do funerals with me because they don’t think I’m competent enough because of my gender.’
– Jean Gorham
A Manitoba Funeral Director, Shannon Jackson recalls being looked up and down and asked, “What’s a pretty little thing like you going to do here?”
Why were women initially discouraged from this profession?
It is believed that women could not handle the physical demands of the job. There is a great deal of lifting. Also, many may not realize that funeral service is a very stressful job and thought women couldn’t handle the stress.
Times are Changing
Luckily times are changing. As of 2011, 34% of jobs in the funeral industry were held by women, a staggering increase of 15% since 1991. Educational programs across Canada have also seen a drastic increase of women interested in studying funeral service. Classes now consist of approximately a 75% female to 25% male students – a complete reversal of the ratio from about 20 years ago. As Jeffrey Caldwell, an instructor from Humber College states: “Whomever sang “It’s a Man’s World” certainly couldn’t sing it any longer in our industry!”
What makes Funeral Service Appealing to Women?
Funeral Service is a field that calls for empathy. Women are also typically more nurturing and detail-oriented. Women have been known to choose funeral service as a second career after holding jobs in social work, nursing, human resources and management. Women are not only bringing their ability to foster long-standing standing relationships to the field, but they are also contributing job experience and knowledge.
Visit our staff page to view the remarkable women on our team and the men fortunate enough to work alongside them. Basic Funerals fosters an environment that believes in equality and a safe workplace for all.
Stand by the women in your life. Encourage them to pursue their goals and be what they want to be….even if it’s working within the funeral industry.