• The impact of gender perceptions and professional values on women’s careers in nursing.

      McIntosh, Bryan; McQuaid, R.; Munro, A. (2015)
      Purpose - Within nursing, there appear to be two enduring sets of assumptions: firstly, that woman with children should prioritise the care of children; and secondly, that nursing standards require nurses to put their profession above other priorities. Commitment is linked to full-time working this contrasts sharply with the reality for many women with children who need to work part-time and are not able to change or extend working hours. Design/methodology/approach - This qualitative research involved the use of 32 in-depth interviews with thirty-two female registered nurses with children and without children. They were employed in ‘acute’ nursing where aged between 25 to 60 years old and employed in registered grades ‘D’ to ‘senior nurse manager’. They worked or had worked on a variety of employment conditions, some, but not all, had taken career breaks. The rationale for exclusively selecting women was based on the need to identify and describe organisational, situational, and individual factors related to women and the associations and barriers which affect their careers. Findings - In a female dominated profession, we find the profession resisting attempts to make the profession more accessible to women with young children. The career progression of women with children is inhibited and this is driven in part by a determination to maintain ‘traditional’ employment practices. Originality/value – This paper develops Heilman's argument that the restructuring of employment has lead to work intensification which stokes gender tensions. These findings are relevant across many areas of employment and they are significant in relation to broadening the debate around equal opportunities for women.
    • Motherhood and its impact on career progression

      McIntosh, Bryan; McQuaid, R.; Munro, A.; Dabir-Alai, P. (2012)
      Purpose: After many years of equal opportunities legislation, motherhood still limits womens' career progress even in a feminized occupation such as nursing. While the effect of motherhood, working hours, career breaks and school aged children upon career progression has been discussed widely, its actual scale and magnitude has received less research attention. The purpose of this paper is to examine the impact of these factors individually and cumulatively. Design/methodology/approach: This paper considers the impact of the above through a longitudinal analysis of a demographically unique national database, comprising the 46,565 registered nursing workforces in NHS Scotland from 2000-2008. The variables examined include gender, employment grades, number and length of career breaks, lengths of service, age, working patterns, the number and age of dependent children. Findings: The results indicate: motherhood has a regressively detrimental effect on women's career progression. However, this is a simplistic term which covers a more complex process related to the age of dependent children, working hours and career breaks. The degree of women's restricted career progression is directly related to the school age of the dependent children: the younger the child the greater the detrimental impact. Women who take a career break of greater than two years see their careers depressed and restricted. The results confirm that whilst gender has a relatively positive effect on male career progression; a women's career progression is reduced incrementally as she has more children, and part-time workers have reduced career progression regardless of maternal or paternal circumstances. Originality/value: This paper is the only example internationally, of a national workforce being examined on this scale and therefore its findings are significant. For the first time the impact of motherhood upon a women's career progression and the related factors; dependent children, career breaks and part-time working are quantified. These findings are relevant across many areas of employment and they are significant in relation to broadening the debate around equal opportunities for women. Purpose - After many years of equal opportunities legislation, motherhood still limits womens' career progress even in a feminized occupation such as nursing. While the effect of motherhood, working hours, career breaks and school aged children upon career progression has been discussed widely, its actual scale and magnitude has received less research attention. The purpose of this paper is to examine the impact of these factors individually and cumulatively. Design/methodology/approach - This paper considers the impact of the above through a longitudinal analysis of a demographically unique national database, comprising the 46,565 registered nursing workforces in NHS Scotland from 2000-2008. The variables examined include gender, employment grades, number and length of career breaks, lengths of service, age, working patterns, the number and age of dependent children. Findings - The results indicate: motherhood has a regressively detrimental effect on women's career progression. However, this is a simplistic term which covers a more complex process related to the age of dependent children, working hours and career breaks. The degree of women's restricted career progression is directly related to the school age of the dependent children: the younger the child the greater the detrimental impact. Women who take a career break of greater than two years see their careers depressed and restricted. The results confirm that whilst gender has a relatively positive effect on male career progression; a women's career progression is reduced incrementally as she has more children, and part-time workers have reduced career progression regardless of maternal or paternal circumstances. Originality/value - This paper is the only example internationally, of a national workforce being examined on this scale and therefore its findings are significant. For the firs time the impact of motherhood upon a women's career progression and the related factors - dependent children, career breaks and part-time working are quantified. These findings are relevant across many areas of employment and they are significant in relation to broadening the debate around equal opportunities for women.