Gender Vis–Vis Occupational History Essays Examples
IMPACT OF GENDER ON OCCUPATIONAL HISTORY
There is an understanding that gender differences are highly influential when it comes to hiring and employment, most especially because there are jobs that are gender-specific, even though the other gender is not condemned from taking on those, particularly on an occupational basis. For that, one may think that it is better to be a female with specific characteristics when one is taking on a particular job, while another job may require workers to be male with distinct features as well. The nature of the work somewhat dictates gender requirements among jobs, but other occupations, particularly those that are actually gender-neutral despite stereotyped to just one gender, tend to use such phenomenon as an excuse to discriminate workers, both in terms of hiring and employment. As a worrying prospect in itself, gender discrimination in hiring and employment deprives people of opportunities to excel in their chosen path, most notably if they are not really blessed with gender-specific superficial features apart from their skills that may be required by employers.
This study, therefore, explores on the prospect of any impacts of gender in occupational history, specifically on nursing. As a female nurse, I felt the compelling need to use my own profession to assess whether my gender affects my prospects on it and whether I experience discrimination in the workplace or from anyone who may stereotype my gender on my job. Yet at this point, one thing is for sure – that it is almost unavoidable for one to be gender-specific in all first impressions when it comes to impressions on any kind of jobs. Nursing, in particular, has been widely viewed as a mostly-female job, which I think has specific advantages and disadvantages on my part as a female registered nurse. Alongside discussions on the existing literature, I relate my personal viewpoints arising from some of my experiences as a female registered nurse.
There is a substantial link that connects gender with occupational history, with both sides being able to influence one another with regard to hiring and employment. Hegeswich and Hartmann (2014) noted that while segregation and wage gaps influenced by gender began decreasing in instance towards the 21st century compared to conditions in the 1960s, such problems continue to exist in labor markets. Nopo et al. (2007) emphasized on the importance of labor-training programs in promoting gender equality in labor markets, specifically those that exhibit gender differences. Using the case of ProJoven, a youth labor training program from Peru, Nopo et al. (2007) conducted an econometric study that involves a matching procedure conducted on two stages and involves evaluations on income, propensity scores and gender, alongside determining the impact of the program on male and female participants and eliminating Ashenfelter’s dip, a phenomenon that causes people to lose income while participating in any labor-training program. Findings reveal that female participants have benefited greatly from participating in ProJoven throughout its 18-month duration, with their employment rates having improved by 15%, reduction of gender occupational segregation by 30% and improvement in labor income by 93% (Nopo et al, 2007). Considering the benefits of ProJoven in the Peruvian setting, it is therefore viable for labor-training programs in the field of nursing to focus on benefiting male participants, considering the female-dominated nature of said field. At the same time, it is also viable to design labor-training programs that can further improve the prospects of female nurses in hiring and employment.
When I was still completing my nursing degree in college, I was actually surprised at first that I had made classmates, not least because of the prevalent idea that nursing is a profession frequented by females. However, it is also equally significant that as time went on, many of my male classmates have discontinued and come graduation day, only a handful of males were present in receiving their degrees. Why is that so? I asked. Perhaps it is due to the prevailing stereotype that nursing is a mostly-female profession that led my male classmates to venture in other kinds of profession. In investigating that particular trend of attrition among male nursing students during my college days, I came across an article by McLaughlin et al. (2010), which investigated on the connection between gender and completion of nursing degrees. McLaughlin et al. (2010) closely investigated a batch of students in a nursing school, first by distributing questionnaires to all 384 of them during their first year. Upon graduation of the batch, McLaughlin et al. (2010) attained data on its attrition rate, which reflected that several male nursing students therein have actually quit midway. Among the reasons cited by McLaughlin et al. (2010) is that many male students grew uncomfortable in trying to go through their nursing degrees, simply because females dominated the nursing profession. There is also gender bias in nursing – I would attest as well that female nurses like me are more preferred than our male counterparts on the perception that we are more caring and gentle towards patients. Male nurses, given their gender, are prejudged as being more unrefined in their approaches, henceforth making those in the study of McLaughlin et al. (2010) more anxious towards their career opportunities. Female nurses like me, on the other hand, continue to be in demand, especially not that there is a shortage of nurses around the world, as acknowledged by McLaughlin et al. (2010).
However, I also came across another article that enabled me to have greater insights on the connection between gender and occupational history, one that is authored by Hollup (2014) tackling the case of Mauritian nurses. Hollup (2014) also recognized that nursing is a profession that is dominated by females. Male nurses, according to Hollup (2014), are practically inexistent in several parts of the world, except in Mauritius, where around 50% of the workforce are composed of them, typically holding the title “nursing officers” (Hollup, 2014). The reason behind such a phenomenon accounts to the perceptions on gender and culture held in Mauritius, where nursing is not held as a job attached with a low-status image and is not primarily exclusive for females. As a result, male nurses in Mauritius do not face hindrances with regard to the career opportunities available for them, unlike in other parts of the world where females are typically preferred for nursing jobs (Hollup, 2014). Perhaps within my setting, females are preferred for nursing jobs because of the socially constructed image of nursing as a mostly-female job, henceforth leaving most of my male classmates back then in college to quit working on their nursing degrees. While demand for female nurses like me are high in my setting, the same really cannot be said of male nurses, making it all the more problematic for them in pursuing nursing as a profession.
The occupational history of nursing inevitably involves gender as a crucial element, given that it is widely perceived as a mostly-female profession. Therefore, as a female nurse, I am affected not because I am disadvantaged, but because of the fact that I, alongside other female nurses, am always in-demand in nursing circles, giving me this feeling of guilt and sympathy towards males who sincerely want to pursue nursing but are nonetheless made uncomfortable by the realities I have mentioned. Perhaps it is now up to policymakers and organizations on nursing if they wish to change the way the nursing profession is disproportionally gendered, given that such is an undisputed reality backed by an academically-founded literature, which can be enhanced to monitor any possible changes concerning the greater involvement of male nurses.
Hegeswich, A., and Hartmann, H. (2014). Occupational segregation and the gender wage gap: A job half done. Washington, DC: Institute for Women’s Policy Research.
Hollup, O. (2014). The impact of gender, culture, and sexuality on Mauritian nursing: Nursing as a non-gendered occupational identity or masculine field? Qualitative study. International Journal of Nursing Studies, 51, 752-760.
McLaughlin, K., Muldoon, O., & Moutray, M. (2010). Gender, gender roles and completion of nursing education: A longitudinal study. Nurse Education Today, 30, 303-307.