Skip to main content

Equal Opportunities


The health sector has a far greater proportion of the workforce that is female (77%), compared to the whole economy (46%). Such high levels of female participation create different challenges for employers within the sector compared to elsewhere. Policies enabling flexible working arrangements have been at the forefront of employers’ agendas for many years in order to continue to attract and retain high calibre employees.

Nursing has a very high level of females working in the occupation (estimated to be around 90%), whilst Paramedics are more likely to be male (estimated 73% are male).

There is a more even distribution of gender amongst General Medical Practitioners (GPs) with more female participation over more recent years. Currently, an estimated 55% of this staff group are male and 45% are female.

Source: Skills for Health AACS LMI report 2010 and Sector Skills Assessment 2010


There is a greater diversity of ethnicity in the health sector workforce than the whole economy; 14% of the health sector workforce is from a Black, Asian, Minority Ethnic background. This pattern is also found in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Source: Sector Skills Assessment 2010


The age profile for the sector shows an older than average workforce, when compared to the whole economy. This is due, in part, to the fact that it takes some professions a long time to train and can mean that people enter the sector later.

There are fewer joiners to the sector aged between 16 and 24 years of age when compared to the whole economy.

Source: Sector Skills Assessment 2010 and Skills for Health AACS LMI report 2010