News Briefs Archive

New Study: Women in Medicine Experience More Harassment, Lower Wages & Fewer Opportunities

Sept. 11, 2019

Women in medicine continue to face significant gender-based obstacles in the workplace, according to the 2019 Women in Medicine, a new study by CompHealth. Both female and male physician respondents reported that women experience increased harassment, fewer opportunities and lower wages.

CompHealth surveyed more than 700 female and male physicians to find out their thoughts on work environment, leadership opportunities, work/life balance and workplace harassment.

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Although both women (83 percent) and men (73 percent) indicated a belief that the medical industry has an issue with harassment, women see and experience the brunt of it, and the challenges between genders are not always the same. Discrimination and sexual harassment are most common among women, with just 12 percent reporting they have never dealt with any form of sexual harassment, compared to 38 percent of men. Women are also more likely to report experiencing insubordination, retaliation and physical violence.

Only 34 percent of women believe that women and men are equally respected in their organizations, compared to 69 percent of men. Women are also significantly more likely to believe they are treated differently than their male peers in all aspects of the profession, including by administrators, other physicians, nurses and patients.

Although women (63 percent) and men (69 percent) report similar levels of confidence in their ability to fulfill career aspirations, just half of women (49 percent) believe they have the same chances as men. Over 70 percent of male physicians believe both genders have equal opportunity. Women are also less likely to believe that promotions are given to the most deserving employees or based on fair criteria.

Nearly half of women (46 percent) in the medical profession believe they are paid less than men, while the vast majority of men (81 percent) believe pay levels are about the same. The hard numbers indicate the women are correct: 46 percent of female physicians reported making less than $200,000, compared to just 28 percent of men.

Women are more likely to sacrifice their careers and time for families, according to respondents. Women were much more likely to have worked reduced hours to care for children or family members (46 percent) compared to men (29 percent). Women were also more likely than men to have taken significant time off, worked part-time, turned down a promotion or quit a job. Nearly three-quarters of women had delayed starting a family due to career demands, compared to half of men.

Click HERE to read the entire report and to learn more about CompHealth’s findings.

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