To mark International Men’s Day on Sunday, 19 November 2023, Exemplar Health Care has launched a thought-provoking campaign challenging gender stereotypes around people working in social care and recognising the under-representation of male carers.
The centrepiece of the campaign is an array of social media posts encouraging viewers to ‘Imagine a Nurse’ or ‘Imagine a Carer’, before subverting expectation by showcasing some of the brilliant men working across Exemplar Health Care’s home.
The #MenCareToo campaign shines a light on the 19% of men (Skills for Care data, 2023) who work in social care and often face gender stereotypes. Working in the field of social care has often been associated with nurturing and caregiving, traits stereotypically viewed as feminine qualities. Men have historically been faced with societal pressures to conform to traditional gender roles, which can lead them away from careers in social care.
Exemplar Health Care is acknowledging and celebrating the compassion, dedication, and invaluable role that men play in providing care and support to adults with complex needs.
Andy Teare, Head of Recruitment at Exemplar Health Care said:
“Men in social care bring a unique perspective and skill set to the team, contributing to a more inclusive and diverse approach to care giving and helping us better engage and build strong relationships with some of the people we support.
“We know that some people living in our homes prefer to have men support them, particularly for tasks such as personal care. However, it’s also really important when we consider the full range of activities, hobbies and community visits that some of the people we support like to engage in and the practicalities of supporting them to do so.
“Care is very much a sector that can provide a rich and rewarding career for any one, including men. Working in care enables people to make a real, meaningful difference to the lives of people using care services and that is something that everybody in society can play a part in.”
Chris Ravenscroft, Clinical Nurse Manager at Cheshire Springs, said:
“I had never considered a career in care until my grandfather’s stroke when I found myself assisting him in his daily living. One of my grandfather’s carers said to me ‘You’re a natural at this Chris’. I applied for a job in care and, later, got accepted into University as a Nursing Student.
“Throughout my career it’s been evident that more women work in care and as such it’s developed a reputation as being a ‘female sector’. I still find it surprising that in 2023, many people are shocked when I tell them what I do for work.
“Working in social care is extremely rewarding and a sector where everyone is welcome. I would strongly encourage anyone who wants to make a difference to the lives of people in their local community to consider a career in care. There are plenty of job opportunities, many different flexible work options, and there are lots of different types of care services and settings meaning there is something for everyone.”
As part of the campaign, Chris explains that due to a lack of visibility and representation of men in the social care field, some men may fear judgment or face stereotypes about their masculinity if they choose a career in social care. He hopes that by sharing his story he can get rid of some of the misconceptions and encourage other men to consider a career in social care.
The care system depends on dedicated care workers who make a difference in the lives of so many people in need of support. The #MenCareToo campaign aims to promote the male role models at Exemplar Health Care and encourage other males to consider a career in social care.