Re: The gender pay gap in medicine (1)

Issue: BCMJ, vol. 63, No. 5, June 2021, Page 198 Letters

Thank you, Dr Sin, for your April editorial on this important topic [BCMJ 2021;63:101]. Studies show that women also have increased rates of burnout compared with male colleagues. The pandemic has had an extra toll on women, making all of this much worse.

You point out that there are some clear recommendations that have been made to work to close this gap. We know this is a complex issue that will take many nuanced changes, but a few broad strokes can happen now. Encouraging men to take parental leave is a wonderfully achievable place to start, and is evidence-informed. Maybe we will see Doctors of BC promote this more widely. Doctors of BC could also be targeting and measuring its success in having women in leadership roles, and being transparent about what percentage of stipends goes to men versus women might be an enlightening project. The kind of encouragement needed for women to be in the places where decisions are made is often structural. This is not phoning, emailing, and telling them they would be great and should apply—not that kind of encouragement. We are talking about changing how we recruit, support, and retain women in leadership by making gender equity a priority through tangible goals, metrics, and system improvements. This is negotiation time for the PMA and gender equity could be a value that is baked into the process. Imagine what we might achieve if this were the case!

I am excited that you have opened up this conversation in a meaningful way for Doctors of BC and all of us in the province. I look forward to reading more articles on what we are doing and how well we are making progress to reduce the gender pay gap. Thanks for taking this brave step, since we know you are likely to experience significant backlash as a result of speaking out for gender equity.
—Brenda Hardie, MD
North Vancouver

This letter was submitted in response to “The gender pay gap in medicine.”

Brenda Hardie, MD. Re: The gender pay gap in medicine (1). BCMJ, Vol. 63, No. 5, June, 2021, Page(s) 198 - Letters.

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