While approximately 75 percent of the social and community workforce are women, a recent study has shown that men who work in care are on the rise. With demand for support booming thanks to our ageing population, we hope even more men, women and non-binary individuals join this rewarding career.


Thirty-five-year-old Brandon was introduced to the joy of the care industry when he was in high school. After doing work experience at the age of seventeen, he knew he wanted to continue making a positive impact on the community. 


“I have always enjoyed making people smile,” says Brandon, who now works at Just Better Care Mid North Coast. “I feel like if I can get a smile out of someone, it makes the day better for everyone.” 


It’s a sentiment shared by a number of men, who often turn to the care industry later in life after a job change, an interstate move, or caring for a loved one. However despite growing interest, there is more that can be done to challenge the cultural stereotype that caring is a “woman’s profession”, particularly when nearly 90 percent of the aged care sector is still dominated by women.


“This actually goes to some really fundamental gender norms,” says head of the Workplace Gender Equality Agency, Mary Wooldridge, for The Australian. “This is not a quick fix, but it’s absolutely crucial, both for men and women but also for our economy in the future.”


So what are some reasons for even more men to join the industry?


The demand is there

There is a bright future for care ahead. As Wooldridge argues, “a significant portion of the growth of our workforce over the next 20 to 30 years is actually in the healthcare and social assistance sector.”


The biggest growth opportunity lies in attracting more men into the industry, so they can be part of a booming profession that is open to people with different qualifications and backgrounds, and is demanded in every Australian town and suburb. 


With jobs ready and waiting, it only makes sense that men look into whether a flexible career in their hometown is the right move for them. 

Customers want male role models

The demand is also there from customers. With the NDIS, people living with disability and older Australians have increased control over the care they want based on personal preferences. Many younger men living with disability, for example, want a male to support them at home and in the community. Similarly, older men may want to be cared for by someone they can be more open with. 


“30 percent of the client group is men, so you’d think there was a need for men as well,” says sociologist and Flinders University associate professor Debra King for The Australian. “Quite often men are able to carve out a niche in aged care.”


It can be incredibly rewarding

As reported by the ABC, there is one big benefit to working in the care industry: it’s a rewarding profession. 


“One thing I find really interesting is that if you look at job satisfaction surveys for aged care workers, they really love their jobs,” says Ms Winzar, senior economist at the Committee for Economic Development of Australia (CEDA). 


“It’s a job where you can feel on a day-to-day basis that you’ve helped someone. And that’s a side of the industry that we don’t often hear about, and particularly one that we don’t really sell to men as a rewarding career path.”


This is particularly true for Brandon, who says that not only does he find making an impact on his local community incredibly rewarding, but also the learning opportunities he has in the sector. 


“Just Better Care has been able to provide many online learning and development experiences. There is so much information available. When I take on a new client with different needs, I am able to learn more about a specific disability at my own pace.”


As Brandon and our diverse Support Workers agree, if you can put a smile on somebody's face on a day to day basis, that’s a pretty good reason to get started in the care industry. So if you want to join or know somebody who would make an excellent Support Worker, there’s no better time than now. You can find your local Just Better Care office and get started today at justbettercare.com/getting-started/career


We look forward to working with you!