Changes in Surgery

We have alluded to a number of barriers that women still face in the workplace in general and in surgery in particular in a number of posts (e.g. here, here and here). Luckily, times are a-changing and many things are not as difficult as they used to be. Here is what some men and working in surgery have to say about that:

“I think things have changed quite a lot, partly because there are more women in all spheres of life whereas there weren’t 25 years ago. And that has had a bearing on what people expect women to do. They don’t expect you to stop working when you get married or stop working when you have children. And a lot of people are now married to men that earn less than they do. So again, you have a personal discussion around who is the one who collects the kid from school if the kid is ill and that sort of thing.”

“I think times will be changing. The NHS and the political climate change on a regular basis. The number of women coming through on a higher level of surgical training changes the gender ratio. There won’t be as many men to women as there have been and therefore female leaders will almost automatically be selected inevitably from the positions they’ve got to.”

“Things have changed over the last 20+ years that I’ve been a consultant, certainly. Prior to that, when I was a trainee, things were very different because we weren’t in the strange long hour culture that’s now being pretty much abolished, but it has changed. … I’ve seen more and more female graduates coming through and it is no longer unusual to see women in training in surgery – only today I’m interviewing for a consultant post in London and the two best candidates we have shortlisted are both women.”

“I think things are changing. I think these old style female surgeons have done a lot and maybe there is a new style female surgeon coming through who will try to multitask lots of different things like academia, clinical work and children. That makes life interesting. “

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