Gender of the Social Work Workforce

Rachael Wardell Chair of the ADCS Workforce Development Policy Committee, said:

“Social work, with its requirement for a complex mix of analytical and interpersonal skills is well suited to both men and women. So, although gender is irrelevant to a person’s capability to do the job, and few sectors have complete gender equality, it is disappointing to see that the gender balance in the social work profession is so skewed. It is well documented that more highly paid and higher status roles are more attractive to male applicants. Given the demands of the role and the important contribution social work makes to society, it certainly deserves to be seen as a high status profession, with terms and conditions to match. If an improvement in status could be achieved, this might contribute to some rebalancing of the workforce. That said, what matters most is a person’s determination and commitment to making a positive difference and the necessary skills to do the job well. As leaders of children’s services we are committed to achieving a diverse workforce through encouraging more people well-suited to the role to choose social work as a career.”


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