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Gender Pay Gaps in Medicine

Start date

October 2023

End date

March 2024


Project Summary

The number of women in medicine has risen exponentially every year since 2009. Despite the figures, the constraints of the gender pay gap remained palpable. In 2020, Professor Carol Woodhams and Dame Jane Dacre and a team from other universities published Mend the Gap, the ‘Independent Review into Gender Pay Gaps in Medicine’. This ground-breaking research spanned a decade, analysing records of 86,000 trust doctors, 16,000 GPs and 4,500 clinical academics, making it the largest study into the gender pay gap in any industry, here in the UK. 
This ESRC IAA project has funded an expert analyst to look at the findings of the Mend the Gap study, alongside recent data provided by the Department of Health and Social Care, to conclude whether or not the gender pay gap for women in medicine is closing. Professor Woodhams has presented findings to the Department of Health and Social Care, that the gender pay gap for women in medicine in the UK is indeed closing, and this intelligence is referenced and now informs the response from Government to the Doctors and Dentists Pay Review Body, in the ongoing pay disputes for medical staff. By measuring this across all medical doctors in England, Professor Woodhams has been able to prove the effectiveness of the 2020 review and highlight areas of progress and good practice.
The impact already been felt from the work of Professor Woodhams and the team is sizeable, and we are thrilled that ESRC IAA funding was able to help evidence and further galvanise this impact, so that the team have been able to influence and benefit women working in medicine for years to come. It is hoped that further funding will be leveraged to continue monitoring and evaluating how changes to local policy around the gender pay gap are being addressed in individual NHS Trusts across the UK.
Closing the gender pay gap in medicine is not just beneficial to women, it benefits all genders and identities of practitioners and staff as well as their patients. Through the research of Professors Woodhams and Dacre, it seems that whilst there is still work to be done, that divide is narrowing.

"We heard from doctors during the course of the research, we led on the gender pay gap in medicine, that part-time doctors who reached the level of excellence sufficient to be awarded a national clinical excellence award, judged alongside full-time staff, only received a pro-rata amount of their reward. The majority of these doctors are women." - Professor Carol Woodhams