Gender diversity in therapeutic radiography: A mixed methods exploration of the gender influences impacting on male students' career choices

NIGHTINGALE, Julie, APPLEYARD, Robert, MCNAMARA, Joanna, PANCHBHAYA, M., POSNETT, Joanne and STONE, J (2022). Gender diversity in therapeutic radiography: A mixed methods exploration of the gender influences impacting on male students' career choices. Radiography, 28 (2), 258-266.

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Introduction A significant gender imbalance exists in therapeutic radiography, with male radiographers contributing to less than one fifth of the UK registered workforce. This research aimed to explore male student recruitment experiences to identify gender-sensitive strategies to employ within future recruitment drives. Methods An exploratory mixed methods design commenced with therapeutic radiography student focus groups, analysed via descriptive thematic analysis. The focus group themes informed an online questionnaire survey targeting enrolled male therapeutic radiography students in the UK. Both phases explored students' experiences of their career choice and the impact, if any, their gender had on this selection. Results Three focus groups (n = 9) yielded four major themes: the invisible profession; career choices; gender influences; gender-sensitive approaches. Survey responses (n = 38) represented 9 UK institutions, a 25% estimated response rate. Over half (55%) had little or no awareness of the career at entry, with many discovering the profession ‘by accident’. Many had never seen recruitment materials; 40% (n = 15) stated they were not designed to appeal to male applicants, with 18% (n = 7) suggesting they reflected more stereotypical female traits. Conclusion Targeting gender imbalances is always controversial but doing nothing will maintain the status quo and perpetuate an unrepresentative workforce. Earlier awareness-raising of therapeutic radiography is essential, with promotional imagery suitable for different audiences and focusing equally on care and technology. Recruitment language should embrace ‘leadership’ attributes as well as ‘caring’ attributes. Supported by male role models, outreach events should emphasise the profession in terms of a sustainable, fulfilling and rewarding career. Implications for practice The findings have provided detailed recommendations on which to focus a specific recruitment and marketing strategy to encourage male applicants to consider a career in therapeutic radiography.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: ** Article version: AM ** Embargo end date: 31-12-9999 ** From Elsevier via Jisc Publications Router ** Licence for AM version of this article: This article is under embargo with an end date yet to be finalised. **Journal IDs: issn 10788174 **History: issued 24-02-2022; accepted 07-02-2022
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Page Range: 258-266
SWORD Depositor: Colin Knott
Depositing User: Colin Knott
Date Deposited: 01 Mar 2022 15:05
Last Modified: 12 Apr 2023 01:18

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