Survey: Sexual harassment rates high among female physicians

Posted in Sexual Harassment on May 20, 2016

In conversations about career advancement for women, discussions have long focused on problems like pay disparity, pregnancy discrimination and double standards of what ambition should “look like” for men and women. These are all important issues, and they deserve to be discussed and addressed.

But in many fields, women are held back by a more basic and immediate problem: sexual harassment. Even in prestigious fields like medicine (and the other STEM fields), too many women have their confidence shaken and their career paths hampered by sexual harassment. The results of a recent study in the Journal of the American Medical Association show just how bad the problem is.

According to a physician survey, one-third of women physicians reported being sexually harassed by colleagues or superiors. The rate for men was just 4 percent. Of those who had been harassed, 50 percent said it had a negative impact on their career advancement, and 60 percent said it negatively impacted their self-confidence.

Nearly half of all medical students these days are women, so these statistics are not skewed by disproportionate gender representation. But even if they had been, even one case of sexual harassment is too much. There is no reason that anyone – female or male – should question their abilities or worry about their career path due to someone else’s inappropriate comments and propositions.

If you have been a victim of sexual harassment in the workplace, know that you are not alone and that you can fight back. Please discuss your case with an experienced employment law attorney who can help you understand all of your rights and legal options.