Intended for healthcare professionals


Five facts about the gender pay gap in UK medicine

BMJ 2016; 354 doi: (Published 12 July 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;354:i3878
  1. Abi Rimmer
  1. BMJ Careers

England’s health secretary, Jeremy Hunt, is commissioning a report on how to reduce and eliminate the gap in pay between the sexes in the medical profession.1 Here are five facts about the gender pay gap

  1. In 2004 male doctors earned 21% more than their female colleagues in the United Kingdom, and by 2013 they earned 40% more, show figures from the Office for National Statistics.2

  2. A BMA survey from 2009 found that, in general, female doctors earned 18% less than male doctors, equating to a raw pay gap of £15 245 (€17 900; $19 750). By controlling for factors such as part time working, maternity leave, and fewer years of experience, the BMA found a “true” gender pay gap among consultants of 5.6%, equating to £5500 a year, and among trainees of 4.1%, equating to £2000 a year.2

  3. In 2014 a fifth (270) of the 1404 doctors who applied for a clinical excellence award were women. Of 300 awards given out, 15% (46) went to women, giving a rate of success among women of 17%, while the 85% that went to men represented a 22% success rate.3

  4. In April 2015 the gender pay gap among all workers in the UK, based on median earnings of full-time employees, was 9.4%. The Office for National Statistics said that this was the lowest gap since the survey began in 1997.4

  5. The Fawcett Society, a UK women’s rights campaigning organisation, said that the current gender pay gap meant that women effectively stopped earning relative to men on a day in November. This year this Equal Pay Day falls on 10 November.5


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