The NHS and medical schools have been urged to tackle a “macho” culture which prevents female medical academics from reaching senior positions, a BMA-led report says.
The Women in Academic Medicine report says that while six in 10 medical students are female, women are under-represented at a senior level in medical academia.
One in five medical schools has no female professor, and only two of the 33 heads of UK medical schools are women.
The report cites new findings from a survey of 1,162 medical academics which shows two in five (41%) perceive women as disadvantaged in terms of career progression, and one in five (21%) perceives women as disadvantaged in terms of salary.
In focus groups organised by the researchers, doctors spoke of “a macho, aggressive, cut throat attitude”, and said: “A fundamental issue is the long working hours.”
BMA spokeswoman Dr Anita Holdcroft said: “At my level, there is a ratio of one woman to 20 men. While female doctors often achieve consultant status, it is hard for them to progress beyond that – particularly in academic medicine. There is an urgent need to tackle the complex factors that are impeding women’s medical careers.”
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