This is Why Women in Health Care Get Paid Less
According to the latest U.S. Census Bureau report, female physicians and surgeons get an average salary that is 31 percent less than their male counterparts. Female physician assistants also earn, on average, 81 percent of the salary of their male counterparts.
This isn’t the first study to reflect such a large gender disparity. A 2013-14 study conducted by the Diversified and the Women’s Leadership Center through the Coles College of Business at Kennesaw State University found that amongst a sample size of about 275 executives across a broad range of health care providers, compensation for women was an average of 35 percent lower than for men in similar positions.
Katherine Virkstis, of the Advisory Board, addressed the wage gap last year with Healthcare Dive, stating that “Men…tend to aim for higher levels of education.” There are therefore “more men in RN programs than in LPN programs, and more men in BSN programs than in RN diploma or AND programs.”
We Can’t Blame Gender Bias
Though these kind of stats are frequently touted as evidence that gender bias is a figment of the liberal imagination – why are female nurses not aiming for the same education levels as male nurses? Gender bias is notoriously difficult to prove—something that a 2012 study out of Yale and published in PNAS tried to tackle through blinded study.
Scientists were given application materials from a student applying for the position of lab manager who intended to go on to graduate school. Half of the scientists were given the application with a male name and half were given the same application with a female name. Not only were the "female" applicants ranked lower on competence, hireability and whether the scientist would be willing to mentor the student, but they were also offered significantly lower starting salaries (about $26,000 compared to $30,000 for the male applicants).
Notably, male and female subjects employed the same biased hiring practices, and both relied on professional reasoning to explain their choices—blaming competency, for example.
"If faculty express gender biases, we are not suggesting that these biases are intentional or stem from a conscious desire to impede the progress of women in science," wrote the researchers. "Past studies indicate that people's behavior is shaped by implicit or unintended biases, stemming from repeated exposure to pervasive cultural stereotypes that portray women as less competent…"
Root of the Cause
According to a recent survey from Rock Health, the biggest obstacles women face in climbing the healthcare ladder are self confidence, time constraints and the ability to connect with senior leadership. Particularly notable in the light of the Yale gender bias study was the 43 percent of respondents who said they had no mentor. An oft-cited pair of Catalyst studies found that in 2008, 78 percent of men were actively mentored by a CEO or another senior exec in all industries, compared to only 69 percent of women.
Still, increased mentor and sponsorship opportunities do not necessarily resolve the problem. In the same Catalyst study, among all participants who had found mentors on their own, the men still received more promotions than the women—by a ratio of almost three to two. Among survey participants who had active mentoring relationships in 2008, 72% of the men had received one or more promotions by 2010. Only 65% of women had advanced.
"More sponsoring may lead to more and faster promotions for women, but it is not a magic bullet: There is still much to do to close the gap between men's and women's advancement," wrote organizational behavior professor Herminia Ibarra in Harvard Business Review. "Some improvements – such as supportive bosses and inclusive cultures—are a lot harder to mandate than formal mentoring programs but essential if those programs are to have their intended effects."
Dubai's new smart neuro spinal hospital: need to know
We take a look at Dubai's new smart hospital.
What: The Neuro Spinal Hospital and Radiosurgery Centre is a new hospital featuring state-of-the-art technology for spinal, neurosurgical, neurological, orthopaedic, radiosurgery and cancer treatments. The 700 million AED hospital, (equivalent to £138 million), has 114 beds, smart patient rooms, and green spaces for patient rehabilitation, and is four times the capacity of its former premises in Jumeirah. It is also the UAE’s first hospital to have surgical robots.
Where: The hospital is located in the Dubai Science Park. Founded in 2005, Dubai Science Park is home to more than 350 companies from multinational corporations in life sciences, biotechnology and research; over 4,000 people work here each day.
Who: The UAE's Neuro Spinal Hospital and Radiosurgery Centre was first established in Jumeirah in 2002 by Dr. Abdul Karim Msaddi, as the first as the first "super-specialty" neuroscience hospital.
Why: With advanced diagnosis and robotics, the hospital will provide care across neuroscience, spine, orthopaedics and oncology for people residing in the UAE, as well as international patients.
Prof. Abdul Karim Msaddi, Chairman and Medical Director of the hospital, said: “We are proud to bring world-class healthcare services to Dubai and believe our next-generation hospital will be a game-changer for the emirate’s and the region’s medical industry.
"It will not only significantly increase the availability of specialist neuroscience and radiosurgery treatments and provide better patient care but help attract and develop local and international talent. Investing in the new centre represents our continued faith in the resilience of the region’s economy, as well as a testament to our ongoing drive towards healthcare innovation in the UAE.”