Doctor’s wages should be published to give “transparency” to the profession, says the author of a landmark gender pay report.
There is a £15,000 gap between men and women in the medical profession in the UK, according to the report published by Imperial College London, the University of East Anglia and the British Medical Association (BMA).
Speaking to Edinburgh Napier News, Dr Anita Holdcroft, a co-author of the report said that women face many challenges in “career progression”.
Dr Holdcroft said: “This is an obstacle that can be overcome through increased transparency.
“We want more openness with regard to what salaries people are earning, and we’d like independent auditors to analyse these.”
She said many factors account for part of the wage disparity such as maternity breaks, unsympathetic employers and a recent influx of women into the profession leading to more males at the top of the hierarchy.
However, around one third of the financial gap was unaccounted for and the study concluded that this was down to “discrimination and a hostile culture” facing women.
“Doctors should be paid the same for equal work carried out,” said Dr Holdcroft.
Local NHS Trusts are failing to enforce equal pay regimes, the report also found.
A BMA spokesman said the finding were “worrying” and called for action.
“Women are not getting a fair deal in some areas, despite the fact we are now living in 21st century Britain.
“There needs to be a joint effort to solve this problem, not just on the part of managers and ministers, but also on the part of women.”
The study interviewed over 1100 doctors and its findings affect 100,000 professionals, 40 percent are consultants and 60 percent are junior doctors.
A Scottish government spokesman labelled the pay gap “unacceptable” but said that the figures were not as straightforward as they seemed.
“While the overall figure is increasing, this is not the full story, as the same statistics show the gap is narrowing when the calculations for full time and part time employees are done separately,” said a spokesperson.
The report showed that the gap for full time employees had narrowed two percent in one year; however it had increased by five percent in one year for part-time employees.
Asked what she hoped would come of the report, Dr Holdcroft said:
“It’s the first time we’ve considered pay influences and looked at these processes. We hope this is the start of change.”