Gender disparity in salary and promotion in medicine: still a long way to go

Tedros WHO Director General

Dr Tedros is the Director General of the World Health Organisation (UN, 2017)

This article was exclusively written for the Sting by Ms Marina Kushnirenko, a nineteen year old second year medical student of Saint-Petersburg State Pediatric Medical University. Ms Kushnirenko is affiliated to the International Federation of Medical Students Associations (IFMSA). The opinions expressed in this piece belong strictly to the writer and do not necessarily reflect IFMSA’s view on the topic, nor The European Sting’s one.

According to the All-Russian Center for the Study of Public Opinion, men are in a better position than women when it comes to practical opportunities to receive a decent salary. This was the conclusion that 90% of respondents in the opinion poll came to. According to the statistics of 2006, the average monthly salary of women is only slightly more than 65% of the average monthly salary of men. Even in low-wage budget sectors, men’s wages are higher than women’s as they occupy the majority of managerial positions. In the health care system, men prevail among chief physicians, department heads, and leading specialists.

A 2016 study “Sex Differences in Physician Salary in US Public Medical Schools” that looked at academic physician salaries showed that even after accounting for physician age, experience, faculty rank, specialty, scientific authorship, National Institutes of Health funding, clinical trial participation, and Medicare reimbursements, female physicians still earn less than males in every field with the exception of radiology. Therefore it is evident that this problem is relevant not only for Russia but for the whole world.

Historically, uniform tariffs were officially established regardless of sex, but in fact, preference was paid to labor remuneration in industries that focused on the use of male labor: in heavy industry, in construction and installation works, etc. The sectors with predominantly female employment turned out to be low-paid.  However gender differences in the level of income exist not only in industries with a “male” profile of work but even where women are predominantly employed.  Medicine is one of such spheres: women are 85,6% of the employees.

A 2013 series of studies on salary negotiation and backlash concluded: assertive, self-advocating female negotiators suffer backlash consistent with negative masculine characterizations. They are seen as dominant and arrogant, and people do not want to interact on a peer level with them. Non-assertive, other-advocating female negotiators suffer a different backlash consistent with negative feminine characterizations. They are seen as weak and gullible, and people do not want to be led by them.

The main problem here is gender inequality and sexism in common. It is related to labor legislation, discriminatory practices and society stereotypes. It is a consequence of traditional perception of the position and role of woman and society and the belief that women are less responsible ,have a lack of leadership, too sensitive etc

The choice to prioritize childcare is one that every person, male or female, should be able to make. However, our current culture leads to women doing this much more often than men. And because of that sometimes women choose less demanding specialties or working fewer hours.

Despite this we do have strong women role models. Mae Jemison – an American physician and NASA astronaut, Pat Goldman-Rakic- a neuroscientist who has contributed significantly to the study of the brain, and diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s and was the first scientist to fully chart the frontal lobe of the brain.

Expectations for women leaders are both high and low, while male leaders do well with a variety of personality types and styles. A rise in the number of strong women in power would help foster more positive public perceptions. So I think that for our cultural expectation of women to change, we have to start by putting women in leadership positions.

About the author

Marina is a nineteen year old second year medical student of Saint-Petersburg State Pediatric Medical University. Besides studying she is also a local officer of International Federation of Medical Students Association’s sector called Stranding Committee on Public health and a very active volunteer for many programs and events. Marina is always concerned about human rights issues including gender inequality in many aspects of life as well as ecological problems. Moreover, she is an operator for a local university “MED TV” media project and successfully combines activism and media space to spread her ideas. She is also interested in anatomy, neurosciences, literature and art.










the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

The Bank of China at European Business Summit 2015

Parliament ready to fight for a different EU budget

Half the world’s population is still offline. Here’s why that matters

Tuesday’s Daily Brief: prizewinning journalists freed in Myanmar, new tracking tool for suspected terrorists, and a global bid to stop snakebite deaths

The world’s largest bus system is starting to go electric

EU Council: Private web data to be protected by…abusers

Backed by UN agency, countries set to take on deadly livestock-killing disease

Continue reforms to make growth work for all in Spain

G20 told crucial COP24 climate change conference ‘must succeed’: Guterres

Who will win the AI race? If countries work together, then the answer could be all of us

China in my eyes

New skills needed for medical students in Industry 4.0

Despite setbacks, ‘political will’ to end Yemen war stronger than ever: top UN envoy

This robot boat delivered a box of oysters in a breakthrough for unmanned shipping

Here are four steps SMEs can take for long-term success

Blockchain could boost global trade by $1 trillion

Parliament approves €34m in EU aid to Greece, Poland, Lithuania and Bulgaria

Brexit kick-off: a historic day for the EU anticlockwise

Eurozone’s credibility rock solid

Parliament sets up plan to fight the 3,600 criminal rings of EU

How can consumers be effectively protected from insurance sellers?

UN member states express their will to tackle global migration but specific actions are still missing

An economist explains how to go carbon neutral in our lifetime

UN experts cite ‘possible exploitation’ of workers hired to clean up toxic Japanese nuclear plant

Under fire, UN refugee agency evacuates 135 detained in Libya to Niger

Antitrust: Commission opens investigation into possible anti-competitive conduct of Amazon

Here’s how India became a global clean energy powerhouse

After Brexit and Grexit, Brussels to deal with Poloust

Germany openly seeks more advantages for its banks

A Sting Exclusive, the European Commissioner for Energy Günther Oettinger writes for the Sting on “EU Industry: a major energizer”

China rare earth prices soar on their potential role in trade war

Transition between education and employment: how the internship culture is threatening the foundations of our education

Using ‘leprosy’ metaphors in political rhetoric ‘fuels public stigma’ and discrimination: UN rights expert

Sub10 Systems @ MWC14: Bridging the Ethernet of the Future

EU Youth Goals – we are shapers not listeners

Main results of EU-Japan summit: Tokyo, 17/07/2018

Releasing trapped value is key to success in the digital world

UN pushes for universal health care on International Day

Medical Doctors in Industry 4.0: pure science fiction

EU shapes its ambitious strategy on India

MEPs urge UK to break current deadlock

Four things the UN chief wants world leaders to know, at key COP24 climate conference opening

E-cigarettes are killing us softly with their vapor

Health equity and accessibility for migrants is a peremptory demand

UN ‘stands in solidarity’ with cyclone-hit India – Secretary-General Guterres

These cities have the best quality of life

Access to health in the developping world

Wages are flatlining around the world – is automation to blame?

The influence of the multilateral agreement on migrant health

Tuesday’s Daily Brief: hate speech, dementia, Libya and Yemen, human rights in Brazil and Lebanon

We have the tools to beat climate change. Now we need to legislate

UN anti-corruption body in Guatemala rebuts government’s reasons for expulsion order

Inequality in the delivery of health services

Concern rising over fate of Rohingya refugees sent home by India: UNHCR

3 vital steps to a new gender equality playbook

EU Council approves visa-free travel for Ukraine and cement ties with Kiev

Globalization 4.0 will help us tackle climate change. Here’s how

David Attenborough’s worried about this ocean threat – and it’s not plastic

The middle-class dream is moving beyond millennial reach

7 of the world’s 10 most polluted cities are in India

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s