Although the human resources profession is still dominated by women, female representation in the industry peaked in 2007 and has since been in gradual decline.
This is according to analysis of data from XpertHR’s Salary Surveys, which found that in 2007 the proportion of female HR professionals hit a peak of 79.3% but has remained consistently below this figure in the following years, falling to 75.8% in 2010.
During the decade up to 2007, the proportion of female HR workers steadily rose from 63.8% to the 79.3% peak.
Mark Crail, XpertHR’s head of benchmarking and data services, commented: “I think most people are aware of the extent to which HR is seen as an overwhelmingly female profession, and the figures from XpertHR Salary Surveys bear that out.
“Over the past few years, though, it does appear that the tide may have turned. These are early days and I wouldn’t want to read too much into it, but it does raise questions about whether more men are now entering HR – or whether women have disproportionately lost out in the recession.”
The data also shows that women are more likely to achieve executive positions in the HR profession than other areas, with females accounting for 42.5% of HR directors, compared with 36.1% of directors elsewhere.
However, there is also a heavy concentration of women in lower responsibility HR roles, with their filling 86% of entry-level positions.