Scientific publications

Gender differences in Anaesthesiology. At what point do we find ourselves in Spain? Results from a Spanish survey

Apr 10, 2020 | Magazine: Revista Española de Anestesiología y Reanimación

Aliaño M (1), Franco G (2), Gilsanz F (3).

Objective: Publications of diverse medical specialties confirm that gender differences still exist in the medical field. This particular study aims to investigate whether this problem exists in the specialty of Anaesthesiology in Spain.

Methods: An anonymous survey was distributed among anaesthesiologists in Spain. It had 39 questions and was designed to investigate professional position, work conditions, personal situation, and individual perceptions. The goal was to target the majority of anaesthesiologists working in Spain.

Results: Completed surveys were received from 1,619 respondents which represents 17.6% of the total number of anaesthesiologists in Spain; 654 respondents were male (40.4%) and 965 were female (59.6%). The greater differences were found in the following areas: 70.0% of the respondents advised that their head of department is male.

When asked about management and leadership positions, 25.2% of female respondents had ever had any management role in contrast to 46.1% of men (p<0.001). Regarding academic positions, 10.3% of male respondents are university professors in contrast to only 4.8% of women (p<0.001). 46.0% of the women surveyed believe that gender discrimination exists in the workplace whereas only 12.6% of men reported the same. A third of women (36.6%) consider their gender a barrier to promotion and fear losing their job due to pregnancy. Furthermore, both genders have witnessed patients and colleagues treating staff differently according to gender.

Conclusion: The results of the survey show the existence of a gender gap among Spanish anaesthesiologists. Of particular note, women are under-represented in academic and leadership positions. Additionally, a considerable percentage of respondents perceive gender-based discrimination to be active in their workplaces. This study could serve as a template for future research in other neighbouring countries and as a means to monitor any changes in coming years.

CITATION  Rev Esp Anestesiol Reanim. Aug-Sep 2020;67(7):374-380.doi: 10.1016/j.redar.2019.10.012. Epub 2020 Apr 10.