Original Research

Gender-Based Discrimination In Nursing: A Ghanaian

DF Ofori
Acta Commercii | Vol 7, No 1 | a5 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ac.v7i1.5 | © 2007 DF Ofori | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 05 December 2007 | Published: 05 December 2007

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DF Ofori, University of Ghana Business School, Ghana

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Purpose and objectives: The 'glass escalator' phenomenon holds that men in female dominated professions like nursing can rise quickly to the top. However, they can also suffer discrimination. This phenomenon is widely recognised in advanced countries. Trained, mostly female nurses have been leaving Ghana in droves for greener pastures abroad, particularly the US and UK, with serious consequences on the health delivery service in Ghana. Conversely, increasing numbers of males are joining the nursing profession. It examines whether male nurses in Ghana enjoy any hidden advantages, and if so, what makes the men successful (even with their limited numbers) in a women-dominated field and what the implications are for both male and female nurses.

Problem investigated: The article explores gender-based discrimination and the phenomenon of the glass escalator in a developing country context. It examines the position of male nurses in Ghana; the type, nature and extent of advantages they enjoy and any discrimination they face in a female-dominated field.

Methodology: An in-depth cross-sectional questionnaire was employed. A thematic and cluster analysis of findings was executed, with data captured using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS). A combination of descriptive accounts as well as summary statistics using chi-square and correlations was used to examine the findings.

Findings and implications: This paper reports the findings of an empirical study that show that male nurses neither suffer gender-based discrimination nor occupy the top positions in the nursing field. It also found that a majority of males do not want to leave the profession even though they feel they are assigned more responsibilities and are sometimes passed over for promotion.

Originality: Whilst representing a modest contribution to research in gender-based discrimination in nursing, this paper is a first attempt to investigate the phenomenon in a Ghanaian context, with the dearth of relevant research in an area of increasing importance in Ghana serving as a huge fillip.


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