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“Old boys club” culture at BMA undermined female members and staff, sexism report finds

BMJ 2019; 367 doi: (Published 17 October 2019) Cite this as: BMJ 2019;367:l6089
  1. Abi Rimmer
  1. The BMJ

A review into sexism at the BMA has found that the association has a discriminatory culture in which women were undermined, bullied, and in some instances sexually harassed.1

The independent review, by Daphne Romney QC, said that for too long BMA leadership had failed to call out bad behaviour, including sex discrimination, sexual harassment, rudeness, and bullying.

In gathering evidence, Romney said that she spoke in person to 82 men and women, over half of whom were female and a fifth of whom were members of staff. She said she also received emails from other doctors and members of staff.

Not everyone who spoke to Romney had experienced or witnessed sex discrimination or sexual harassment.

“I hope that this report will focus attention within the BMA on the damaging elements of its discriminatory culture, including the (limited) instances of sexual harassment,” Romney said.

“The latter is undoubtedly far more headline grabbing than the former, but that should not detract from the genuine complaints of the persistent undermining and undervaluing of some women doctors and staff, together with a corrosive and combative culture of ‘I’m right, and you’re wrong, and I know best, and you don’t know what …

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