Why the UK Needs More Male Carers
Discover why male carers are in demand, and what a job in this line of work entails in this handy guide.
We tend to associate care career paths with women more than men, and the numbers back it up, with 84% of carers in England being female compared to just 16% male.
But rather than let stereotypes govern our career choices, the need for male carers has never been higher in a society where the demand for more caregiving continues to rise.
In this blog, we explore the importance of having more male carers in careers, the roles where we need them most, and the benefits they can bring to the profession.
Can Men Work in Care?
Yes, men can work in care. And with a shortage of males in the industry, more men are being encouraged to begin careers in a sector that would greatly appreciate their service.
Like most roles, adult social care work is based purely on the candidate fulfilling the responsibilities and requirements of the position, regardless of gender.
With the same basis applied to females, the rejection of male carers might appear down to specific client or resident preferences where they feel more comfortable with a female carer over a male carer to provide personal or intimate care services. Although all care providers try to encourage an open mind from their clients or residents, as we all know, some things can take time to adjust and become more normalised.
While the industry hopes to reduce this gender discrimination, some male carers can face more stigma than females.
However, we believe the more men that enter the adult social care sector, the less stigma and more diversity it will bring alongside providing role models to encourage younger males to begin male care roles.
How Male Carers Can Transform Gender Role Stereotypes
Once upon a time, as expectations on most men to provide for their families would see many often apply themselves to physical labour roles or other more “suitable” academic/business careers, society’s associations connected to care services would deem the profession more as “women’s work.”
Thankfully, our modern society has since diversified, breaking down gender norms that once restricted men and women from pursuing professions that appeared less “suitable” to their sex.
But despite these positive shifts, there is still a significant disproportion between female and male carers. We think this imbalance should be opposed because care work provides career opportunities for anyone to excel and progress, whatever their gender
The Type of Male Carer Jobs in Demand
In the UK, the number of people aged 65 years and over has increased from 9.2 million to 11 million in 2021. This rise from 16.4% to 18.6% continues to ascend, driving the demand for more male carers to join the sector and help plug the gap.
Both home care and live-in care jobs for male carers are a particular segment that requires filling, with staff shortages threatening to place this sector of care in crisis.
10.9% of care jobs in the UK are unfilled, with over 165,000 empty posts reported across the industry. Part of the problem may be that not enough men are willing to start a career in care, although it offers numerous rewards across job satisfaction and career progression.
The most pressing types of male carer jobs available include:
Many of these roles are specific to men only, as a way of diversifying the care sector, providing male-specific solutions, or under the preference of the patient or client.
Rules for Men Working in Social Care
Providing same-sex carers is not a legal requirement, but care providers should deliver same-sex care or honour their client’s preferences. The 2010 Equality Act states that staff recruitment of a specific sex is an occupational requirement.
Can Male Carers Look After Females?
Male carers can look after female clients and provide intimate care unless the client states a specific gender preference for female carers only, then it’s the responsibility of the provider to fulfil this wish.
Clients or patients who receive care have a right to express preferences of their caregiver’s gender in line with the 2008 Health and Social Care Act Regulation 9.
Can Two Male Carers Work Together?
Two male carers or multiple male care workers can work together in providing personal care to their residents or clients. As the same applies to gender preference, the number of carers of the same gender falls to the right of the client to express any refusal or reluctance.
Start Your Career as a Male Carer Today
At Herefordshire Cares, we have numerous caregiving roles across Herefordshire suitable for males looking to begin a fulfilling, life-affirming and progressive career in care.
From care assistants to support workers and operations team leaders, we offer various positions that suit specific skills and preferences, regardless of gender.