The robot-proof job men aren’t taking

Nursing is the job of the future. So why have men stayed away?
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It’s easy to imagine that the jobs of the future, if they even exist, will all revolve around technology. But it turns out, the jobs that are least likely to succumb to automation are those that involve building human relationships. The healthcare field is a prime example— nurses, physician assistants, and physical therapists have higher-than-average salaries and major expected job growth. These fields share something else in common— they’re dominated by women. Despite the erosion of traditionally “masculine” fields like manufacturing, men just aren’t taking these high-paying, in-demand healthcare jobs in the numbers you’d expect. For decades, nursing in particular has been considered “women’s work,” in part because it’s assumed that women, more so than men, have a kind of innate capacity for caring and empathy. But men in nursing say this mindset is holding us back. For them, caring and empathy are stills that can be developed, not traits someone is worth with or without based on their gender.
Oxford University study on which jobs are most vulnerable to automation:
Men in Nursing, History, Challenges, and Opportunities (book by Chad O'Lynn):
Florence Nightingale and the Nursing Legacy (book by Monica Baly):
Marci Cottingham's studies on gender and healthcare work:
How Health Care Organizations Mobilize Masculinities as Nursing Recruitment Strategy:
Caring Moments and Their Men: Masculine Emotion Practice in Nursing:
Gender and emotion : social psychological perspectives / edited by Agneta H. Fischer: is a news website that helps you cut through the noise and understand what's really driving the events in the headlines. Check out to get up to speed on everything from Kurdistan to the Kim Kardashian app.
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Tags:  automation  caring  economy  emotion  empathy  employment  explain  gender  healthcare  jobs  labor  men  nurse  nursing  robots  unemployment  vox  voxcom  women  the  robot-proof  job  men  aren't  taking 

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Caption: When you imagine the job of the future . what comes to mind probably something . like this maybe this but what about this . these are the jobs expected to grow the . most over the next decade and if you . look at the expected growth and the . annual salary there's a clear winner . nursing other jobs might pay more but . future demand is a fraction of what it . is for nurses thanks to an aging . population in the us and around the . world despite the good pay and the high . demand there's one group that has stayed . away from nursing men nursing is still . one of the most gender segregated jobs . in the country with one man for every . nine women in the field so what's going . on here why aren't more men taking these . well-paying in-demand jobs with staff . shortages plaguing many a way to a nurse . in crisis in ongoing shortage of nurses. of hospitals an international shortage . in response to the worldwide nursing . shortage scientists have listed the . health of robots these machines can lift . and move patients take vital signs . deliver medication and even make . scheduling and assignment decisions but. contrary to the doomsday headlines . there's little chance these machines . will replace human nurses anytime soon . in 2013 researchers at oxford university . developed this scale it measures how . vulnerable certain jobs are to. automation the jobs where humans are . least likely to be replaced by robots . require either creativity expert . perception and manipulation or high. degrees of social intelligence. predictions are much worse for jobs . where these skills are less important of. the 700 plus jobs in the oxford study. nursing was one of the least vulnerable . with the less than 1% chance of becoming . automated in the next decade or two and . when you watch nurses in action it's . easy to see why the ability to build . trust to connect it's what makes nursing . immune from automation and for decades . it's also what's kept men out of the . profession every time that there's a. joke about a man that's a nurse remember . we talked about him nurse not a doctor. huh kind of girl isn't it still cuts a . small little cut it still hurts a little . bit you always feel them this idea that . nursing is a woman's job it can be . traced back to the 1850s to an english . nurse named florence nightingale she . cared for sick and injured soldiers . during the crimean war when she arrived . at the hospital nightingale was . disgusted by the squalid conditions . though she faced resistance from the . male physicians she imposed strict . sanitation and dietary guidelines and . under her watch fewer patients died of . preventable diseases after the war her . methods were taught in new nursing . schools that opened up all over the . world at the same time that women were . being told their place was in the home . nursing gave them the chance to develop . an identity outside of it but . nightingale was no feminist she saw . nursing as a natural extension of what . it meant to be a woman according to . nightingale women had a natural capacity . for caring men did not they couldn't . attend nightingales nursing schools . which blocked them from the profession. but the thing is before nightingales . reforms men had a long history as nurses . monks cared for the poor and sick across . europe for centuries starting in the . middle ages men served as nurses during . the american civil war this includes the . poet walt whitman who described the . experience in his poem the wound dresser . the hurt and wounded eye pacified with . soothing hand i sit by the restless all . the dark night the some are so young . fifty years after whitman wrote this . poem the army nurse corps was made up . entirely of women by the time men were . legally allowed to rejoin the profession . in the 1950s nursing had become . synonymous with femininity a link that . was reinforced through advertising mass . media and popular culture and which in . turn affected how we raised our children . they absorb the idea that men and women . were born with certain personality . traits which made them better suited to . certain jobs and while these traits were . thought to be innate we now know that . they're largely a product of our . environment boys and girls are . socialized differently especially when . it comes to emotions and the emotions . that they're allowed to express boys who . are even in the infant age who cry are. more likely to be shush or told not to . cry mothers are more likely to smile at . their infant daughters than their sons . and they use fewer emotion words around. preschool age boys than girls boys are . socialized to stoic ly manage those . emotions so it's not to appear . effeminate or d masculinized . the biggest threat you can pose to a boy . in terms of masculinity is to call him a . girl or call him a pussy or a wuss right . so a job that requires making an . emotional connection that requires . expressing empathy a job like nursing . there's this assumption that men can't . do it. because they lack these inborn feminine . traits as a parent you know i was always . pretty involved with my children so when . her teacher introduced. as this is mr. lecoeur this is katie's . dad and he's a nurse and works at. children's hospital here in cincinnati . and i was surprised by the response . young children you know five years old . said well you can't be a nurse because . you're not katie's mom what kind of . messages you remember getting as a kid . about nursing and who becomes a nurse . like a little white hats and you know . skirt i think that has a child you'd . always had this like kind of like . feeling that nurses were nurturing and . people don't think men can be that way . you just have to tackle some of those . like preconceptions like he's a man so. he can't be gentle or he can't be a. nurturing i feel like it's the 21st . century how is this conversation still . happening oh you must be my doctor and . they start asking me questions why have . you become a doctor or anything did you . fail med school is that why you're a . nurse it's not just nursing genetic. counselors physical therapists and. physicians assistants also have large . gender imbalances despite their higher. than average salaries and major. projected demand meanwhile the economy. is shedding the kinds of jobs that have . stereotypically been associated with men . like manufacturing and that's reflected . in this statistic the labor force . participation rate that's the share of . men in the u. s. who are either working . or looking for work and it's been . falling pretty steadily since 1954 our . long-held beliefs about gender are . clashing with a new economic reality one . in which emotional intelligence is vital . in recent years there's been a bunch of . ad campaigns aimed at bringing more men . into nursing . when sociologists marcy cottingham . looked at these ads . she noticed that a lot of them relied on . the same gender stereotypes that kept . men out of nursing extreme stoicism . masking emotion an emphasis on . athleticism looking rather stern looking . past the camera so they're not making . direct eye contact tattoos motorcycles . don't really have a lot to do with . what's required of you as a nurse if we . use these stereotypical images we might . attract the wrong type of men . into nursing this idea that i can still . be a macho tough guy i don't need to . deal with all that nurturing empathy . stuff and so i think there's really a. question here of who's going to change . is it going to be the nursing profession . to try to attract more men or should we . expect men to change i think it takes a . while to solve that identity crisis like . how can i be a man a nurse and still . maintain my manliness but now i sort of . have this view that you know caring is . probably the most masculine thing a guy . can do carrying empathy and trust are . human strategic advantages over robots. and those skills don't belong to one . gender they're like a muscle the more we . build that muscle the better prepared . will be for whatever the future holds . you. .

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