Why so few men?

In a week where there has been loads of commentary about the Gillette ad campaign focusing on the behaviours of some men, I ask the question, why is more than 80% of the social care workforce female? I’m sure you are running through your head the many reasons, which would be of no surprise, probably nothing to do with Gillette. Still the narrative around men needs to change, and if we really mean diversity within this workforce we must include men.

A few good men

I believe this is a title of film I have never watched but if we look @ the media’s view of men, including social media you would believe this is more than a film title. Where am I going with this? Well when a man says they want to work in the sector, and the same can be said of child care what are people’s reactions, that is great, brilliant, what are your values and are they shared values with our organisation, or is it safeguarding, safeguarding and more safeguarding? I’m hopeful it is the first but sometimes it can be the later, probably all for the right reasons but in no way linked to the main outcomes that are needed in the sector, especially for lonely and socially isolated older men. Don’t get me wrong here, at CM2M, we have robust safeguarding processes in place, including enhanced DBS checks but it’s only part of the recruitment/retention process.

Impact (on men)

What is the impact on men, and I’m including men who need better health and social care outcomes? Well I would imagine for some men the reaction will be ‘I’ll work in a different sector’ where there is still often a safeguarding process but it’s carried out how it should be, and the sector misses out on some potentially highly motivated and great talent. Finally, think about this, when I was a carer for my Dad nobody asked me for an enhanced DBS/CRB, but who delivered the outcomes needed, and I’m a male who at that stage had zero health/social care experience? That is why at CM2M we recruit men on shared values first, and they will go through the safeguarding process, including the enhanced DBS so that men who need the service get the improved outcomes they need, as well as the safeguarding needed to protect them. I’ll take that talent because of that lived experience I had.