A study by the BBC has found that there is a huge pay gap between men and women in top paying consultant positions. The top-earning male consultant in England earned £739,460 in 2016-17 whereas the best-paid woman only received £281,616 in comparison. This on top of there being a huge difference in the numbers of the highest paid men versus women in the NHS with a 20:1 ratio of men in the profession.
The NHS defended the claim by saying that men were more likely to do overtime, but even after taking overtime and bonuses into consideration- there was still a substantial difference in pay (£1500). As well as that, why is it that the common perception of men is to do more overtime? Maybe because women are expected to “be with the children”? Maybe because men are “more hardworking”? Six-and-a-half times as many men as women in England and Wales get the top platinum award bonus worth £77,000 a year.
We need to eradicate these misconceptions because as long as we still have people justifying inequality- there will still be inequality. This is so important as now, the majority of graduates are women- with an influx of female into the medical profession, it is essential that the pay-gap problem is tackled.
Following government consultation in 2017, it is now compulsory for employers to report the salaries of all their employers. However, this has not stopped the presence of a £14000 (on average) discrepancy between men and women in top consulting jobs in the NHS. This shows that women need more representation- we need more female doctors and we need more people supporting the equality of doctors pay.
Doctors save lives. Gender does not affect the quality of care or the quality of treatment and it shouldn’t affect their salaries either.