Responding to figures released by NHS Digital today which shows that while women make up over three quarters of all NHS staff, they are still in the minority in senior roles, Dr Anthea Mowat, BMA representative body chair, said:
“There has been a lot of progress for female doctors over the last decade - women now make up almost 50 per cent of the medical profession and the majority of students and trainees are female.
“However, as these figures today highlight, this progress is slow and there is something of a bottleneck emerging, as women are still in the minority in more senior roles and almost two thirds of consultants are men. Women can face all kinds of barriers during their careers – they are more likely to take time off to have children and then work part time because of childcare or caring for relatives, which affects career progression, as well as experiencing discrimination and undermining behaviour at work. These issues also have an impact on the gender pay gap in medicine, which is heavily linked to part time working, and an unequal share of childcare responsibilities.
“The BMA hopes that the new review of the gender pay gap will scrutinise these ongoing barriers and lead to policy changes that will benefit women doctors at all stages of their careers.
“The BMA is working to understand these trends better so that we can increase our support for women’s medical careers and address any ongoing discrimination and bias. In the meantime we would like to see more tailored support for women in medicine, such as mentoring, role models and leadership training.”
Notes to editors
- You can find out more about the BMA’s work on equality and diversity in medicine by reading about our Equality Lens.