What about the men? Gender parity in occupational therapy: Qu’en est-il des hommes? La parité hommes-femmes en ergothérapie


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Abstract

Background.Gender parity is frequently raised as an equity issue in occupational therapy, with strategies proposed to recruit more men.Purpose.This article explores whether this is a legitimate equity concern.Key Issues.Most employment is gender segregated; when gender balances change, the field either re-genders feminine or creates gender-segregated internal divisions. Men avoid feminized jobs because they pay less and hold less social status. They are a “step down” for men. In such jobs, men are disproportionately pushed into management positions, with better pay, more prestige, and less hands-on care. Equity issues concern structural barriers to success in particular employment fields. Though they may feel discomfort in a feminized field, men do not face structural barriers in occupational therapy.Implications.Broader challenges to traditional gender norms are needed, but there is no evidence that gender parity is an equity concern or that recruitment targeting masculinity would make a difference.

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