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Shortage of male care workers attributed to gender stereotyping

Shortage of male care workers attributed to gender stereotyping

Men are hugely outnumbered by women in the social care sector, says social care recruitment specialists Cohesion who analysed their own data covering 27,000 job applications within the sector.

Currently, 82.2% of people employed in the social care sector are women. While Cohesion found that 40% of job applicants were male and 60% of applicants were female, male applicants needed more support throughout the interview process.

“Our data shows that men have a disproportionately higher drop-out rate during the application and interview stage,” said Cohesion chief executive Will Shepherd.

“I believe that social care organisations could also do a lot more to simplify the application process by introducing shorter and ‘mobile-friendly’ forms which would also appeal to a younger audience. I also believe that the introduction of more ‘values-based interviews’ could support men more, instead of basing interviews purely on previous experience and role competencies.”

Mr Shepherd said men may struggle to be recruited for roles because of gender stereotypes amongst these traditionally female-led jobs, and this gender-based stigma is hard to shake.

“However, men can play an essential part in the social care sector, especially when caring for men from the older generation – a man would much rather be cared for by another man as sometimes the care they are required to give can be very personal. A male carer can also put residents at ease as they may feel comfortable communicating with someone of the same gender. Men are also sometimes physically stronger than women which can assist with lifting residents safely and gently.”

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