The healthcare sector continues to be one of the largest employment sectors in the world. Women make up a large percentage of this class of workers, however, female physicians remain unfairly compensated. With more than 67% of the medical workforce being women, it makes sense to look for ways to close the gender pay gap that exists.
Here are five ways that gender pay equality can be supported.
1) Stay on Top of the Physician Credentialing Process
Ensuring the patient has access to the best doctors possible is the goal of most healthcare facilities. An employer and the hospital in which a physician works are both responsible for this process. Unfortunately, there is no set time frame for this process, and credentialing for physicians is sometimes used to broaden the gender pay gap in healthcare.
It is important to stay on top of this process to ensure that advantage is not being taken in terms of timeframes and approvals. Keep any required information up-to-date and easy to access and make sure malpractice coverage information is also provided.
2) Know The Law
As a female physician, it is important to understand the laws in the healthcare system and surrounding equal pay. Women in healthcare have the right to object to inequitable pay between genders when the same qualifications and positions are held.
These laws have been on the books since the mid-60s, however, they are not often advertised. This leads to the misconception that speaking out or filing a formal complaint may lead to disciplinary action. Understanding one’s rights is a key step in closing the gender pay gap in medicine.
3) Take Care When Choosing a Specialty
At the end of the day, personal choice plays a role in how much a physician is paid. Women often make the choice of taking a healthcare job that pays less, simply because there is less resistance along that path. Pushing back against occupational segregation will help close the gender pay gap tremendously. If an aspiring female doctor’s passion lies in a male-dominated specialty, instead of choosing a lower-paying specialty, she should blaze the trail ahead.
4) Push For Pay Transparency
One of the best ways to go about reducing the gender pay gap in medicine is by pushing for pay transparency. This will help even the playing field between genders while also creating a legal way to seek remedies in the event the need arises. As long as inequity persists there will be resistance to exposing pay, but starting from the bottom up is the only way to effect real change.
5) Standardize Pay Packages
One way to eliminate gender pay inequality is by creating standardized pay packages. This will not only be systematic, but it can make onboarding new hires more efficient. Pay scales that are decided by rank as opposed to other factors are easy to defend and even easier to institute facility-wide.
These are only a few suggestions that will help bring equity in pay for women in the medical field. Strong legislation and advocating strategically are still the best options for effecting real change.