Nursing pay by gender distribution in the UK- does the Glass Escalator still exist?

Journal article


Leary, A, Punshon, G, MacLaine, K, Radford, M, Trevatt, P and Shanley, O (2019). Nursing pay by gender distribution in the UK- does the Glass Escalator still exist? International Journal of Nursing Studies.
AuthorsLeary, A, Punshon, G, MacLaine, K, Radford, M, Trevatt, P and Shanley, O
Abstract

Aims and objectives/background:
Nursing is a predominantly female profession. This is reflected in the demographic of nursing around the world. Some authors have noted that despite being a gendered profession men are still advantaged in terms of pay and opportunity. The aim of this study was to examine if the so called glass escalator in which men are advantaged in female professionals still exists.
Design and method:
Descriptive statistics of the routinely collected national workforce datasets from across the UK central repositories and mining of a bespoke data set that has been curated which focuses on the activity of specialist advanced practice clinical nurses.
Results:
Even in a gendered occupation such as nursing the advantage of men in terms of pay is apparent with men being over-represented at senior Bands compared to their overall proportion in the UK nursing population. From the bespoke dataset there also seem to be an advantage in term of faster attainment of higher grades from the point of registration.
Conclusion and relevance to clinical practice:
Reward and remuneration are essential to the workforce. This work reveals a gender differential towards men in higher paid nursing work. The drivers for this are complex and further work is required to determine the factors associated with career progression with men in nursing, and the rate limiting factors with the female workforce.
KEYWORDS
Nursing, Workforce, Gender Imbalance, Equality, Glass Escalator, Gendered Work, Female Discrimination
What is already known about the topic?
• Gendered power is highly influential in nursing.
• Gender pay disparity in nursing has been reported over a long period in a number of countries.
• The ‘Glass Escalator’ is a theory to explain this gender pay disparity put forward by Williams in 1992.

What does the paper add?
• There is still a gender pay disparity/disparity of opportunity for advancement between male and female nurses in the National Health Service across some pay bands in the UK.
• For specialist and advanced practice nurses it appears that males are able to achieve a higher paid role faster than females. If this disparity in pay and opportunity is not addressed inequality will continue to be present.
• Further study is needed to determine the root causes of this inequality and how to overcome it. Higher quality routine data collection on the demographic and population characteristics of this group is required.

Year2019
JournalInternational Journal of Nursing Studies
PublisherElsevier
ISSN1873-491X
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.1016/j.ijnurstu.2019.02.008
Web address (URL)https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S002074891930046X?via%3Dihub
Publication dates
Print13 Feb 2019
Publication process dates
Deposited14 Feb 2019
Accepted06 Feb 2019
Accepted author manuscript
License
CC BY-NC-ND 4.0
File Access Level
Open
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