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Women Face Less Opportunities in Medicine

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A recent report published by health care staffing company, CompHealth, showed some concerning statistics about how female medical professionals still face gender discrimination. Their nationwide 2019 Women in Medicine study surveyed 700 women and men physicians about themes that included wages, opportunities, work/life balance, and sexual harassment.

Making Sacrifices

Women had a higher likelihood to quit their jobs, turn down promotions, or work part-time. Forty-six percent of females also worked less hours to care for their children or family members, as compared to 29 percent of men. Salaries were also analyzed, and the results showed that 46 percent of female doctors and 28 percent of male doctors were earning under $200,000. About half of women working in the medical profession felt their pay was less than that of their male counterparts, while 81 percent of men thought the pay rates were similar.

Career Barriers

Although 70 percent of male doctors felt that females had the same opportunity as males to have successful careers, females were not as likely to think that promotions were awarded based on the right criteria. Both genders recognized that harassment is prevalent in the medical industry, with 83 percent of women and 73 percent of men responding that they encountered it, with women experiencing it more. Only 12 percent of women said they had never been confronted with sexual harassment; 38 percent of men reported the same. Women also had higher numbers when it came to experiencing physical violence, insubordination, and retaliation.

The study also considered the important issue of respect, and questioned how individuals were treated by other doctors, nurses, administrators, and patients.  While 69 percent of male respondents thought that men and women received the same amount of workplace respect, only 34 percent of women did.

Promoting Gender Equity in Medicine

The American College of Physicians (ACP) advocates for gender equity for female physicians. They stated that the entire internal medical community will benefit from conquering the barriers that females in the industry face. A paper that they published in Annals of Internal Medicine listed a lack of mentors, gender bias, discrimination, a need for a better work/life balance and cultural workplace environments.

They also recommended creating more inclusive health care systems. This included giving women credit and recognizing their achievements at work; supporting maternity, paternity, and family leave; providing equal gender representation on task forces and committees; and initiating timely and non-retaliatory responses to cases of harassment, discrimination, and gender bias.

Medical organizations should also ensure equal pay for males and females and promote workplace activities that promote equity. The latter includes discussing gender inequity at meetings, using gender neutral language at all times, and respecting all employees.

Philadelphia Physician Lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates, P.C. Fight for Gender Equity in the Workplace

All medical personnel should receive equal treatment in the workplace, but this is often not the case. Contact the knowledgeable Philadelphia physician lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates, P.C. for effective legal guidance with any type of workplace discrimination or harassment case. Call us at 215-569-1999 or complete an online form today for a free case evaluation. Located in Philadelphia, we serve clients throughout Wilkes-Barre, Scranton, northeast Philadelphia, Bucks County, Chester County, Delaware County, and Montgomery County.

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