Perceptions of gender equality in work-life balance, salary, promotion, and harassment: results of the NASPGHAN task force survey

Gitit Tomer, Stavra Xanthakos, Sandra Kim, Meenakshi Rao, Linda Book, Heather J Litman, Laurie N Fishman
Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition 2015, 60 (4): 481-5

OBJECTIVES: Gender equality in the workplace has not been described in pediatric gastroenterology.

METHODS: An electronic survey that explored perceptions of career parity, work-life balance, and workplace harassment was sent to all members of the North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition. Reponses were anonymous.

RESULTS: Of the 303 respondents (21%), there was an even distribution across geographic region, age, and gender (54% men). Gender affected perception of salary and promotion; 46% of men but only 9% of women feel that "women earn the same as men" (P < 0.001). Similarly, 48% of men but only 12% of women feel that "women rise at the same rate as men" (P < 0.001). Both genders of academic practice respondents, compared with other practice models, perceived men were promoted more quickly than women (P = 0.008). Women had higher dissatisfaction with mentoring than men (29% vs 13%, P = 0.03). Significantly more men than women reported spouses with "flexible jobs" (35% vs 14%, P < 0.001). Having a spouse with "flexible job" or having children (preschool or school age), however, did not affect satisfaction with work-life balance for either gender. Overall, women are more likely to be dissatisfied with work-life balance than men (P = 0.046).

CONCLUSIONS: Satisfaction with work-life balance is lower among women versus men pediatric gastroenterologists, but does not correlate with flexibility of spouse's job or caring for young children. Gender-divergent perception of promotion, parity of compensation, and mentoring requires further investigation.

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