Robust structures needed to support female doctors in the workplace, conference told

Dr Rachel McNamara made the comments at an Irish Medical Organisation (IMO) conference on gender equality in medicine on Saturday.
Robust structures needed to support female doctors in the workplace, conference told

More robust structures are needed for doctors to report bullying and harassment in the workplace.

Dr Rachel McNamara made the comments at an Irish Medical Organisation (IMO) conference on gender equality in medicine on Saturday.

A new survey carried out by the organisation found that just 14 per cent of doctors report workplace harrasment.

Almost 60 per cent of female doctors have experienced bullying, and 45 per cent of respondants said they were given fewer or more mundane tasks because of their gender in the course of their jobs.

The survey had a sample size of 1,615 working doctors — some 70 per cent of whom were female.

In the wake of the suvey's results, Dr McNamara called for proper reporting structures to be put in place.

"Particularly as doctors, we spend such a high percentage of our time in work, so if there is bullying or harassment coming from some direction, it is devastating," she said.

Dr McNamara also noted that "the structures in place" for reporting instances of bullying or harassment "are often so slow and unsatisfactory".

As reported by The Irish Times, childcare was another issue that was discussed at the conference.

Addressing the conference, IMO chief executive Susan Clyne said the HSE was “one of the largest, if not the largest employer in the State; it has a predominantly female workforce yet it has no childcare on-site.

“Now that is an indictment of the State. We hear messages from the political system and the HSE of their desire to deliver a system that facilitates everyone’s absolute entitlement to be seen 24 hours a day, yet they do absolutely nothing to provide the supports to their workforce that could potentially deliver that.”

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