Fisher Taubenfeld LLP

Female doctors report salary discrimination

Even highly skilled professionals in New York may face workplace discrimination on the job. For example, many female doctors report that their male counterparts make more than them despite equivalent training, education, skill and success. When surveyed, three-quarters of women physicians said that they see unconscious bias on the part of employers as a major barrier to women earning equally in the medical profession. Around 74% of female physicians said that men earned more, even when hours of work or more difficult specialties were taken into account. The survey involved around 400 women doctors across the country, looking to understand the reasons they see for the ongoing gender wage gap among highly qualified doctors.

Respondents said that employment discrimination continues to be a major problem for women doctors, even when the bias is unconscious or unstated. Some said that male doctors are seen as more valuable than women, even when both are sought-after professionals. Around 40% of the respondents reported that they currently earn less than co-workers at their current jobs who are male. Many of them said that it was because they started from a disadvantaged position. They started out with a lower initial contract than those received by men in their workplace or had negotiated a smaller productivity bonus with salaries rising more slowly.

Over the course of a female physician's career, she could lose out on hundreds of thousands of dollars. Other doctors noted that women have less success in salary negotiations but that they could be perceived negatively if they pressed too aggressively for more money.

Doctors at the top of their profession can still struggle with sex discrimination on the job. Employees who have lost out on promotions, jobs or higher salaries due to bias may consult with an employment law attorney about their options to seek justice.

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