29 Sep 2017

Top Irish doctor looks for a cure for gender disparity

The low number of female surgeons is a "striking and unacceptable statistic in modern Ireland", especially given that 34% of core surgical trainees are women, and that more than half of medical graduates are female.

Ciara Kenny
Ciara Kenny The Irish Times, Ireland
Source: The Irish Times
Top Irish doctor looks for a cure for gender disparity - NewsMavens

Why this story matters:

For every 93 male consultant surgeons in Ireland, there are just 7 females, says John Hyland, the President of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI), calling for greater gender equality in medicine.

He admits it is a "striking and unacceptable statistic in modern Ireland", especially given that 34% of core surgical trainees are women, and that more than half of medical graduates are female.

The lack of women in top management and consultant roles is not limited to the medical profession, of course. Gender disparity at higher levels affects almost every industry, and it is good to see the RCSI taking active steps to address the issue.

For me, it was quite startling to read in the same piece that of the RCSI council’s 21 members, just four are women. It is a bit of a chicken and egg situation -– if women aren’t making it into to the top consultancy positions, they are not likely to make it onto boards.

So we need, in every industry, to address the root causes of the gender divide, and Hyland has some very good suggestions of how these might be overcome, particularly in medicine. It will be interesting to see what practical measures the RCSI introduces and whether they can be adopted by other sectors.

Details from the story:

  • More than half of medical graduates are female
  • But 34% of core surgical trainees are women
  • And only 7% of consultant surgeons in Ireland are women
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