Female hospital doctors are paid nearly 19% less than their male counterparts, a Government review has revealed.
The report published on Tuesday also found female GPs earn 15% less and clinical academics almost 12% less, based on full-time equivalent pay.
Inflexible career and pay structures in medicine were highlighted as causes for the pay gap, especially for women with childcare commitments.
The Department of Health and Social Care report – Mend The Gap: The Independent Review Into Gender Pay Gaps In Medicine In England – also found the disparity is higher than other professions, with 2% for accountants and 8% for teachers.
Today a new independent review reveals the extent and causes of the gender pay gap in medicine.
The Chair of the review, @DacreJane, discusses the findings and recommendations👇
— Department of Health and Social Care (@DHSCgovuk) December 15, 2020
Care minister Helen Whately said: “Making workplaces better for women is something I am passionate about. All too often women continue to face barriers that make it harder to succeed at work.
“We will all lose out if talented women feel unable to continue working in healthcare – promising carers ended early and vital expertise and experience lost at a time when we need it more than ever.
“I’m redoubling my efforts to work with the profession to remove the barriers stopping people from achieving their full potential. I want the NHS to be a truly diverse and inclusive employer.”
The British Medical Association (BMA) said many of the recommendations in the report should be acted on immediately.
These include extending enhanced shared parental leave to all doctors in England, more NHS nurseries offering out-of-hours cover for shift work, and “equality in pay, transparency around pay and additional payments so that women working less than full-time are not penalised in their pocket”.
The BMA, which sat on the review’s steering group, said the report also recommended ensuring that career breaks were not damaging to career progression, and challenging barriers deterring women from entering certain medical specialities such as surgery, or reaching the highest positions, for example ensuring flexibility in GP partnerships.
The union is also calling for the immediate implementation of the recommendation that all future analysis and reporting on the gender pay gap should acknowledge differences in race, disability and other characteristics.
BMA chief officer Helena McKeown said: “Paying doctors, indeed anyone, different amounts for the same job because of their sex has been illegal for over 45 years. And yet, in effect, it’s still happening in the medical profession.
“This review shows how far we still have to go before doctors are paid according to their skills, their job role and their hours, and not their gender or desire to have children.
“It’s shocking that even 10 years after the Equality Act and 45 years after the Sex Discrimination Act that the scale of the gender pay gap in the medical profession is so stark.
“It is an illustration of how far we still have to go to achieve equality in the profession. We must learn from this review and make sure we finally put actions into place to deal with this.
“What we have as it stands is not just bad for the medical profession, but for the wider NHS and, most importantly, by extension, those we serve – our patients.”
There is a lot to do to reduce the gender pay gap in medicine. It will need collaboration from @DHSCgovuk@NHSEngland@CQCpressoffice@AoMRC@NHSEmployers@medicalwomenuk@TheBMA@NHS_HealthEdEng We have been working closely on the report, and now need to implement change https://t.co/ljljBkIbCa
— Dame Jane Dacre (@DacreJane) December 15, 2020
Professor Dame Jane Dacre, who chaired the review, said: “The causes of the gender pay gap in medicine are complex and wide ranging and will require a system-wide effort to tackle.
“This pioneering review has uncovered the underlying causes and made recommendations for Government, employers and the profession to address the pay gap.
“I’m glad that the Health Secretary has committed to addressing this important issue, which will help keep more talented women working in the NHS.”