Employment and earnings among male nurses and engineers: differences by gender and ethnic background
Centre for the study of the professions Oslo University College Oslo, Norway
This paper's focus is on men in sex-atypical occupations. The aim of the study is to explore gender- and ethnic differences in attrition from nursing and engineering, and moreover, to investigate differences in earnings among individuals who leave the profession and individuals who remain employed in the profession.
Although contributors to theory on masculinity have explicitly noted that men differ greatly in the amount of social status and power they are ascribed by a society, the importance of ethnicity on men's likelihood of leaving stereotypically "feminine" professions is generally ignored in empirical studies. This paper therefore contributes to increase our knowledge on the significance of ethnic background on male attrition from the nursing profession. As it is interesting to know whether there are in fact differences between native born Norwegian men and women in the probability to leave nursing in Norway, gender differences are however explored firstly. To enable comparisons with a male-typical field, the importance of gender and ethnic background is also explored in attrition from engineering. Furthermore, gender- and ethnic differences in earnings are investigated. Analyses are based on a large census data material.
Findings suggest that native born Norwegian men have a higher likelihood of leaving positions which are primary to the nursing profession than have native born Norwegian women and non-Western male immigrants. Moreover, the two latter groups have a higher likelihood of not being employed in positions which are primary to the engineering profession.