Gender Perspective in the Workplace: The Experience of Women Medical Doctors.

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Linda Iroegbu-Emeruem
Boma Oyan
Sarah Abere
Ureh Annabel Oparaodu
Uchenna Felicitas Okeke
Bertha Chris-Biriowu
Bukola Gift Adu


Women, Doctors, Workplace, Challenges, Nigeria


Background: Women are a considerable part of the population and contribute to every facet of life with significant participation in all professions, however, despite such advancements by women, there is still a gender bias in all walks of life including the medical field. This study aimed to evaluate the opportunities, challenges, and job satisfaction of women doctors in the workplace.

Methodology: This was a descriptive, cross-sectional study conducted among 165 women medical doctors living in Rivers State, Nigeria. Data was collected using a structured, self-administered questionnaire and results have been reported as frequencies and percentages for categorical variables.

Results: Of the 165 women recruited, 62(37.6%) were working as resident doctors, 43(26.1%) were medical officers and 42(25.5%) consultants. Only 85(51.5%) women reported global satisfaction in their workplace while 69(41.8%) admitted to career satisfaction. Most of the respondents agree that their career has limited the time available to spend with their family (74.5%) and their friends (78.2%) outside their working environment. The greatest challenges perceived at work include poor work-life balance in 123(74.5%) and lack of career advancement opportunities in 46(27.9%) respondents. While 112 women doctors (67.9%) had experienced insubordination from a junior male colleague in the workplace, 75(45.5%) had experienced some form of physical violence in the workplace (from staff or patients). One hundred and twenty women (72.7%) had experienced some sort of sexual harassment from both their male colleagues and male patients in the workplace, with 11(6.7%) reporting frequent sexual harassment from their male colleagues.

Conclusion: Gender disparities and bias do exist in the medical field and should be discouraged at every level. When there is a positive organizational culture and supportive environment at work, women medical professionals can offer excellent medical care and break both clinical and academic glass ceilings.

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