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Regional Queensland part-time nurses' gender disadvantage : is it a case of 'the emperor's new clothes'?
conference contributionposted on 06.12.2017, 00:00 by Lynnette Jamieson, Leonie Williams, W Lauder, Trudy Dwyer
Australian nurses are increasingly working part-time. A paucity of research based knowledge about this segment of the nursing workforce was the impetus for a grounded theory study that recruited a sample of part-time nurses (n=86) and nurse managers and nurse educators (n=18) to discover the ‘realities’ of part-time nursing for the regional Queensland context. Embracement of gendered identity constructs led many nurses to choose part-time employment as a means to balance family work and professional careers. It may be assumed that as nursing is a female dominated profession a feminine organisational culture would be hegemonic and female gendered discrimination would not occur. However part-time nurses, who choose their employment hours because their constructs of feminine identity value a work-family balance, are experiencing notable professional development inequities. This paper argues that though gendered discrimination is prohibited, indirect gendered discrimination may be occurring in plain sight while remaining ‘hidden’ because nursing is a predominantly female profession. The paper uses extant literature to examine study findings related to the indirect gendered discrimination of regional Queensland part-time nurses. The paper suggests that this situation is worthy of exploration because nursing represents a unique profession where females dominate at all hierarchical levels; including higher level positions. Therefore females at higher level positions are discriminating against other females who choose part-time employment because of their feminine identity constructs.