SALT LAKE CITY, Sept. 4, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- 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.
Although both women (83%) and men (73%) 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% reporting they have never dealt with any form of sexual harassment, compared to 38% of men. Women are also more likely to report experiencing insubordination, retaliation and physical violence.
Only 34% of women believe that women and men are equally respected in their organizations, compared to 69% 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.
"We are fortunate to work closely with thousands of physicians each year and it's important to us to understand the challenges they face in their personal and professional lives," says Lisa Grabl, president of CompHealth. "This report highlights some of the serious issues impacting female physicians that all of us in healthcare need to solve."
Women recently overtook men in the number of students entering medical school, suggesting a future with more female physicians than males. However, men still outnumber women in medical practice, and this inequity appears to compound perceptions of gender-based challenges, including:
Women physicians have fewer opportunities for leadership
Although women (63%) and men (69%) report similar levels of confidence in their ability to fulfill career aspirations, just half of women (49%) believe they have the same chances as men. Over 70% 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.
The gender pay gap is alive and well in medicine
Nearly half of women (46%) in the medical profession believe they are paid less than men, while the vast majority of men (81%) believe pay levels are about the same. The hard numbers indicate the women are correct: 46% of female physicians reported making less than $200,000, compared to just 28% of men.
The primary burden for raising families perpetually falls on women
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%) compared to men (29%). 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.
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.
CompHealth is a national leader in healthcare staffing, serving providers in more than 100 specialties. CompHealth was founded in 1979 and is now the largest locum tenens staffing agency in the U.S. The company also specializes in permanent physician placement and both temporary and permanent allied healthcare staffing. CompHealth is part of the CHG Healthcare family of companies, which has ranked on FORTUNE magazine's list of "100 Best Companies to Work For" for the past 10 years.