Increasingly, women are making inroads into male dominated industries, but little emphasis is placed on men catching up in female dominated industries. Companies can’t be selective about where to push for equality – it should be happening across the board.
Nursing – From Sisters to Charges
In the US in 1970, only 2.7% of registered nurses were men. By 2011, that number had only increased to 9.6%. Interestingly in the same year, 16.8% of nurses were non-Caucasian, indicating that the industry is further behind in gender diversity than it is in racial and ethnic diversity. It should be noted that despite this disparity, men out-earned women as nurses in 2011, making $60,700 to their $51,000, although this gap is still smaller than in other professions.
Meet Dave, not the nurse you’d expect:
These nurses are hopeful that the tide is changing, and more men will continue to train and work as nurses.
X and Y and why cognitive diversity matters
To truly diversify a workforce, it’s not just about X’s and Y’s or even ethnic and cultural diversity. While these are all important, cognitive and neurodiversity are now being recognised as an under-appreciated area of team diversity.
So, what is cognitive diversity?
Cognitive diversity has been defined as differences in perspective or information processing styles, and it is not predicted by factors such as gender, ethnicity or age.
According to Harvard Business Review, teams solve problems faster when they’re more cognitively diverse. As it is an internal difference, it requires more work from companies to uncover and harness the benefits of cognitive diversity. Companies must remember the bias of “we recruit in our own image” when looking to hire across all demographics. That may even mean adjusting the recruitment process or ways of testing candidates to avoid missing out on talent. Remember, you can’t judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree!
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