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Keywords:

  • career development;
  • gender role stereotypes;
  • nurse managers;
  • requisite managerial characteristics

Aim

To examine the relationship between gender role stereotypes and requisite managerial characteristics within the nursing and midwifery profession.

Background

Studies have been carried out to determine gender role stereotypes and requisite managerial characteristics across a number of industries and among student samples. No study has been carried out within the nursing and midwifery profession.

Method

In order to allow for direct comparisons with previous research Schein's Descriptive Index (SDI) was used. A total 239 undergraduate and 171 postexperience responses were collected.

Results

Female nurses and midwives did not gender type the managerial role, whereas males gender typed the managerial role in favour of men. Student nurses and midwives recorded a stronger correlation between women and management than their qualified counterparts.

Implications for nursing management

Males gender typed the managerial role in favour of men. With an increase in numbers of men joining the profession and increased representation of males at the Clinical Nurse Manager (CMN) level there is a possibility that the profession will become two tiered. Health care organisations should pay careful consideration to career development and implement career structures which ensure equal access to managerial roles for both genders.