On Gender Equity

Image source: equalpaytoday.org

Image source: equalpaytoday.org

Last month, an article in Time noted that, though the pay imbalance between men and women in medicine has been documented, the gap is getting worse. Additionally, as noted in Time, “Despite the often-quoted statistic that women in the U.S. make 80 cents for every dollar earned by men, the actual figure varies depending on a woman’s race, geographic location and industry. Women of color, for example, have an even larger pay gap than white women.”

This disparity starts early. Sareh Parangi, MD is quoted in an AAMC article, Closing the Gender Pay Gap in Medicine, as saying, “Unequal pay for women often begins with their first job and persists for the duration of their careers.”

According to Medscape, in 2019 the average male primary care physician is earning 25% more than female primary care physicians, a significant jump from the 18% different in pay only one year ago. It is for precisely this reason that I am so grateful to my inspiring colleagues for forming the Gender Equity in Medicine Research Foundation, an organization committed to promoting gender equity in medicine.

Doctors Esther Choo, Lauren Shawn, Dara Kass, Sarah Shafer, Jennifer Beck-Esmay, and Frosso Adamakos are advocating for a range of necessities, including salary transparency, increasing the number of women in leadership roles in medicine, and policies to ensure that new parents are supported in the workplace.

In addition to the work being done by the amazing women and doctors I mentioned above, ACP has offered some excellent ways to impact gender equity in medicine, including advocacy, amplification, and engaging leadership to make gender equity a priority.

Let us continue to use our voices to demand equity for all women.

The Gender Equity in Medicine Research Foundation will offer grants to back educational initiatives and research that seeks to develop solutions to address the widening pay gap and other workplace inequities among physicians. Applications are open from now until June 1, 2019. Visit their website to propose a project and apply!

Tracy Sanson