How Women are Dead Set On Breaking the Glass Ceiling in This Industry

With about 1,500 funeral homes and over 450 cemeteries across the country, the Service Corporation International (SCI) is the largest mortuary company in the United States.

Nearly half of SCI's 23,000 employees are female, with 2,033 of them holding senior management jobs, reported Fortune. Also, women make up more than half of mortuary-science students. 

In an interview with Fortune, licensed funeral director Kim Perry shares her thoughts on women in the mortuary industry: "Women are often more nurturing than men, and they understand the tremendous importance of details like having exactly the right flower arrangements," she observes. "Most of the people making arrangements for loved ones are women, and they feel really comfortable talking to another woman." The $16-billion-a-year funeral business, which employs about 441,000 people in the U.S., "is really all about relationships," she adds. "Women tend to be great at it."

She goes on to mention how managing funerals combines other job skills and experience that a lot of women already have, which include counseling, social work and event planning. Psychology of grief is a major focus in mortuary school curriculums since mortuary workers only spend 10 percent of their time with the dependent and the other 90 percent with the family, friends and loved ones.

Perry also said, "Once people realize what the job is really all about, they're usually a lot more interested."

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