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RCP commits to working collectively to tackle sexism in medicine

The RCP has signed the British Medical Association’s (BMA’s) Ending Sexism pledge.

The RCP has committed to do more to end sexism in medicine by signing a pledge developed by the British Medical Association (BMA). Alongside NHS Employers, NHS Providers, the Medical Women’s Federation, numerous other Royal Medical Colleges and other representative organisations, it reinforces our commitment to collective action.

Medicine used to be a profession dominated by men, but that is changing. Today around 60% of consultants are men, but 60% of trainees are women. Those women must enjoy the same opportunities, encouragement and recognition as men. They must be free to care for patients without threat of unwanted physical and verbal conduct. But the BMA found that almost all women doctors in the UK have experienced sexism at work. Worse, almost half of them felt they couldn’t report it.

Women should also be paid the same as men, but the Independent Review into the Gender Pay Gap in Medicine found they are not. Women hospital doctors earn on average 18.9% less than men (based on a comparison of full-time equivalent mean pay). When you take into account working hours, the gap is 24.4% for hospital doctors. The RCP also recognises that we have our own gap to close among our staff.

At the RCP we are pleased that we have increased the number of women in senior leadership positions. Our Emerging Women Leaders Programme is designed specifically to address the underrepresentation of women in leadership roles within local healthcare. And in 2022, we launched the programme globally.

But there is still much to be done, and we look forward to working with the other signatories of the pledge to do it.