Perceptions of gender equity in pediatric urology

Roxanne E. Haslam, Austin Collins, Leigh H. Martin, Solange Bassale, Yiyi Chen, Casey A. Seideman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Introduction/objective: Women constitute more than 50% of medical students in the United States. However, only 9.9% of practicing urologists are women, with much fewer numbers in high ranking appointments and positions of leadership. With a growing number of women in pediatric urology, we sought to evaluate how pediatric urologists perceive the climate for women physicians and compare perceptions and experiences of gender equity based on characteristics including gender, practice type, parental status, and years in practice. Study design: An IRB approved survey was sent out to the Society of Pediatric Urology (SPU) listserve of active members. We utilized a validated study, the Culture Conducive to Women's Academic Success questionnaire (CCWAS, higher scores indicating better perceived culture toward women). Subcategories (equal access, work-life balance, freedom of gender bias, and leadership support) were also analyzed. A comment section was provided for respondents to include their own experiences. Descriptive statistics were used for demographics and clinical characteristics. Wilcoxon Rank-Sum and Kruskal–Wallace tests were used to compare CCWAS scores between groups. Results: A total of 116 practicing physicians returned completed surveys for analysis (response rate, 116/355 (33%) [ n = 41,35.3%] female [n = 75,64.7%] male). There was a statistically significant difference in total CCWAS score between male and female genders, indicating male physicians perceived the culture of their department toward women more positively than their female counterparts (median [ interquartile range] CCWAS score, 208.0 [189.0–228.0] vs 164.0 [136.0–190.3]; P < 0.0001). There was no significant difference in CCWAS scores based on years in practice, parental status, or academic versus private practice. Discussion: Limitations of our survey include both participation and non-response bias. Those with strong opinions may have been more likely to respond to the survey. Male respondents comprised 64.7% (n = 75) of overall respondents, representing 25% active male SPU members. Whereas the response rate of active female members of the SPU was 70%. The survey was designed to assess gender equity in academia, and may not be as generalizable to the private practice community. Yet, the differences in perceptions and experiences of gender equity of this study have been noted by studies in other specialties, as well as the 2018 AUA Census report, and may provide insight into the presence and perpetuation of unconscious or systemic biases within medicine. Conclusion: In this study, male physician perceptions of gender equity were different from those reported by female physicians, suggesting there are gender-based differences in how gender inequities are perceived and experienced. [Table presented]

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Pediatric Urology
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2021

Keywords

  • Gender equity
  • Organizational culture
  • Pediatric urology
  • Physician workforce

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Urology

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