From this article:
At the Kansas University School of Journalism, enrollment is currently 70 percent female, according to the school’s dean, Ann Brill.
“I’m sure there are a couple of reasons for this,” Brill said. “It’s probably a right brain/left brain thing. That sounds sexist, but there’s some truth to it.”
Men tend to be drawn to more analytical majors such as engineering or business, whereas women enjoy the creativity that journalism allows for, she said.
Ignore, for the moment, the gender stereotyping and the lack of supporting data (are women really that rare in undergraduate business programs? I don’t think so) and concentrate on the implied assertion that journalism is inherently more creative than either business or engineering.
There are obviously huge differences in creativity among individuals and among specific job assignments within a particular field. But it is ludicrous to assume that the typical journalist, dashing off superficial stories which look a lot like those written by dozens of other journalists covering the very same thing, is doing something more creative than that being done by an engineer designing a new product or a businessperson developing a new organization structure.
This silly assertion wouldn’t even be worth mentioning were it not emblematic of a larger issue. I frequently see an attempt by writers/journalists/academics to associate “creativity” exclusively with people in certain fields–artists, musicians, advertising people, writers, certain types of professors, interior designers, even hairdressers–while denying it to businesspeople, engineers, manufacturers, and many other kinds of people. (Sometimes software people are allowed through the gate, probably because code looks like writing, and businesspeople may occasionally be grudgingly acknowledged as “creative” if they work in a currently-fashionable industry.)
Lack of analytical ability doesn’t automatically make a person creative, and creating a polarity between the “analytical” and the “creative” probably tends to discourage many highschool and college-age students from developing their own analytical abilities.
Also from the linked article:
“Another reason (why women enroll in journalism school) is probably because the salaries aren’t great,” Brill said. “A lot of men are more concerned with making money.”
Many women are more interested in a stable position in an attractive market, according to Jesse Trimble of Columbus, a 2009 journalism school graduate and summer editor at the University Daily Kansan.
“I think one of the reasons is a lot of women get into the j-school is they want go into advertising sales and television,” she said. “I know the market is attractive, they make a good salary, and it’s a pretty basic concept. If you can do that well, you have stability, and that’s attractive to a lot of females, especially because you can’t just be a housewife anymore.”
In my not-at-all-humble opinion, “not very concerned with making money” and “sales” are not two things that go well together. Most salespeople I know–and I know a lot, male and female–are very, very concerned with making money and are indeed more concerned with money-making than with stability. Maybe advertising sales is different, but I doubt it.
(Link via Five Feet of Fury)