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Gender Matters: A Gender Analysis of Healthcare Workers’ Experiences during the First COVID-19 Pandemic Peak in England

Regenold, N; Vindrola-Padros, C; (2021) Gender Matters: A Gender Analysis of Healthcare Workers’ Experiences during the First COVID-19 Pandemic Peak in England. Social Sciences , 10 (2) , Article 43. 10.3390/socsci10020043. Green open access

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Abstract

The coronavirus (COVID-19) arrived in the United Kingdom (UK) in February 2020, placing an unprecedented burden on the National Health Service (NHS). Literature from past epidemics and the COVID-19 pandemic underscores the importance of using a gender lens when considering policy, experiences, and impacts of the disease. Researchers are increasingly examining the experiences of healthcare workers (HCWs), yet there is a dearth of research considering how gender shapes HCWs’ personal experiences. As the majority of HCWs in the UK and worldwide are women, research that investigates gender and focuses on women’s experiences is urgently needed. We conducted an analysis of 41 qualitative interviews with HCWs in the British NHS during the first peak of the COVID-19 pandemic in the Spring of 2020. Our findings demonstrate that gender is significant when understanding the experiences of HCWs during COVID-19 as it illuminates ingrained inequalities and asymmetrical power relations, gendered organizational structures and norms, and individual gendered bodies that interact to shape experiences of healthcare workers. These findings point to important steps to improve gender equality, the wellbeing of healthcare workers, and the overall strength of the NHS.

Type: Article
Title: Gender Matters: A Gender Analysis of Healthcare Workers’ Experiences during the First COVID-19 Pandemic Peak in England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.3390/socsci10020043
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci10020043
Language: English
Additional information: © 2021 by the Authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
Keywords: gender; healthcare workers; gender equality; United Kingdom; COVID-19; National Health Service
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > Div of Surgery and Interventional Sci
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > Div of Surgery and Interventional Sci > Department of Targeted Intervention
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10120331
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