Female funeral directors
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Female Funeral Directors. Undertaker Louise Ryan. Photograph: Andrew Lloyd/WALES NEWS SERVICE. Latisha Hensley English 2010 Lara Asplund. History. In the mid 1800’s caring for the dead was originally viewed as a woman's role and usually took place in the home

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Female Funeral Directors

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Female Funeral Directors

Undertaker Louise Ryan. Photograph: Andrew Lloyd/WALES NEWS SERVICE

Latisha Hensley

English 2010

Lara Asplund


History

  • In the mid 1800’s caring for the dead was originally viewed as a woman's role and usually took place in the home

  • Women were once called “Shrouding women” and were expected to collect the remains and prepare them for burial

  • Men at that time were responsible for building the coffin and digging the grave

  • The Civil War was the turning point in the funeral industry, moving towards a male dominated field

  • Embalming started to be more acceptable because families wanted their loved ones to be returned home

  • Men started to prepare the remains for burial and later found that funerary services could be commercialized

  • Women were pushed out of the field due to the business side of things

  • Women became disallowed from being a part of the business; this was now a man’s job


Facts

  • Over the years the percentage of female students has surpassed the number of male students

  • Today more and more women are attending school to become funeral directors

  • The number of female funeral directors has increased by 38% between 1974 and 2010

  • The number of female funeral directors to date has not been accumulated, yet

  • Even though the number of woman has been increasing over the years, this field is still predominately dominated by men

  • “It wasn’t until 2000 that the number of women equaled the number of men graduating from the U.S. mortuary Schools.” (Funeral Divas)


Comparison between female and male students attending school


More Facts

  • Family owned funeral services is a tradition that has been passed onto the men for many years

  • It wasn’t until the mid to late 1900’s that women became more visible in the funerary business

  • Since then, more women have attended school and graduated

  • Women have taken on the tradition of family-owned companies (to keep their family businesses alive)

  • Some women in this field have no family ties to a family business

  • More and more women are interested in this business and are finding jobs were they can because they want to help people

  • As of 2010, the number of female funeral directors was 43% and male funeral directors was 57%, women seem to be closing in on the last 7% toward equal division of gender within the field, but again recent numbers haven’t been tallied nationally


Progression of Female Funeral Directors


Research

  • 5 States were researched to find the total number of registered funeral homes today:

  • Utah, North Dakota, Washington, Texas, and New Jersey

  • The research was done using the National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA) and the individual states’ Funeral Directors Associations

  • Total number of registered funeral homes for each state was added to the individual states’ FDA

  • The 5 states were picked from different territories of the U.S. to show the difference in sectors of the country

  • The East coast is about even in terms of the number of funeral homes

  • The West coast and Midwest, like the East coast, is about even in terms of the number of funeral homes


States from different territories Compared

Utah – Home State

Where all research started

North Dakota – Midwest

Washington – West coast

Texas – Southern

New Jersey – East coast


Research

5 States were researched to find the number of female funeral directors today:

  • Utah, North Dakota, Washington, Texas, and New Jersey

  • The research was done using the National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA) and the individual states’ Funeral Directors Associations

  • Data to find female funeral directors was only collected from the funeral homes that were registered with the NFDA and with a website

  • All other funeral homes without a website were considered “unknowns” and no data report could be drawn

  • The numbers of male funeral directors nationally is only an estimate at this point


Funeral Directors to Date

Registered Female Directors:

Utah: 5

North Dakota: 9

Washington: 15

Texas: 74

New Jersey: 116

Estimated Registered Male Directors:

Utah: 96

North Dakota: 128

Washington: 170

Texas: 346

New Jersey: 638


Citations

  • Rotondaro, V. (2011, March 25). Women funeral directors: starting to dominate the death care industry. Retrieved March 3, 2014, from http://www.slate.com/articles/double_x/doublex/2011/03/funeral_divas.html

  • Passey Media Design (n.d.). Funeral Homes | Utah Funeral Directors Association. Retrieved February 17, 2014, from http://www.ufda.org/funeral_homes.php

  • Consolidated Funeral Services (CFS) (2014). North Dakota Funeral Directors Association. Retrieved February 27, 2014, from http://www.ndfda.org/pg/ndk/directory.php

  • FrontRunnerProfessional (2013). Find A Funeral Home - Listed by City. Retrieved February 28, 2014, from http://www.wsfda.org/Find_A_Funeral_Home_-_Listed_by_City_993168.html

  • FrontRunnerProfessional (2013). Funeral Homes. Retrieved February 28, 2014, from http://www.tfda.com/Funeral_Homes_488035.html

  • New Jersey State Funeral Directors Association (2014). NJSFDA > Professional Home > About NJSFDA > Member Directory > Find a Funeral Home. Retrieved February 29, 2014, from https://web.njsfda.org/public/professional-home/about-njsfda/member-directory/find-a-funeral-home.aspx

  • Wales News Service (2013, July 3). The Changing Face of The Funeral Profession [Photograph]. Retrieved from http://www.acremation.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/female-funeral-director.jpg


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