What is gender identity? Furthermore, do healthcare professionals experience any effects in their healthcare careers due to their gender identity?
In an effort to understand how much gender identity impacts healthcare professionals’ jobs and healthcare careers, M3 Global Research conducted a global M3 Pulse survey around gender discrimination and gathered insights from over 6 300 healthcare professionals around the world.
International Women’s Day was on March 8, a day to celebrate and reflect on the progress made on protecting and promoting women´s rights and gender equality. This year, we choose to focus on gender identity, as the free expression and experience of one’s gender identity is one important aspect of promoting human equality.
Before answering what gender identity and genders discrimination are, it´s important to first define ´gender´ and what the distinction between ´gender´ and ´sex ´ really is. The National Institute of Health defines these terms as:
In short, gender is not defined by one’s sex, but refers to how a person feel internally, how they choose to express themselves to others and how they want the world to see them. Thus, gender identity definition can be described as an individual’s personal sense of their own gender.
Why is gender identity important in the healthcare workplace?
In all fields of work, a healthy work culture and work environment that promotes gender equality and gender identity diversity are extremely important to facilitate employees’ wellbeing, productivity, job satisfaction, and career development. Being able to express who you are, how you feel, and what you believe in without being judged, discriminated, or silenced is key factors in creating a healthy workplace.
Due to the extreme working conditions and high-stress levels that physicians and other healthcare providers endure in terms of professional responsibilities, long working hours, and heavy workload, it becomes even more important to facilitate them with a healthy work environment. Even though careers in healthcare are fulfilling in many ways, it also have one of the highest rates of employee burnout, depression, and suicide. This is not only a grave concern thinking about healthcare professionals themselves but also for the patients that it might affect. Thus, making it even more important to ensure that other stress factors, including gender discrimination or gender inequality, are reduced as much as possible.
Read more about Burnout and stress among healthcare workers.
How do gender identity and gender discrimination impact healthcare careers?
To be able to understand how much gender identity impacts healthcare professional’s jobs and healthcare careers, M3 Global Research conducted a global M3 Pulse survey and gathered insights from over 6 375 healthcare professionals working in Europe and USA.
We asked our M3 Panel Members:
“Do you feel that your healthcare career is impacted by your gender identity?”
The results indicate that one-fourth of every healthcare professional feels that their career in healthcare is negatively impacted by their gender identity and gender discrimination, including their career development and how they are being treated by colleagues and patients.
- 45% of the respondents answered that their career in healthcare was not impacted
- 25% reported that their gender identity had a negative impact on their career
- 14% felt that their gender identity had a positive impact on their career
- 12% was not sure how their gender identity impacted their healthcare careers
The top three reported affects related to gender identity:
- Respect and behaviours in the healthcare workplace
- Patient respect and behaviours
- Medical career developments
Tremendous efforts are made throughout the world to promote gender equality and to prevent any form of discrimination based on sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity. World Health Organization (WHO) celebration of the International Woman´s Day is one of many initiatives to raise awareness and promote human rights and gender equality. Gender Equality became part of international human rights law by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which was adopted by the UN General Assembly on 10 December 1948. That was over 70 years ago. Since then, new laws have been formed and many of them are being adopted globally by large corporations, organizations, and businesses. Unfortunately, there is still a long way to go ensure that every human being feels understood, respected, and valued in their workplace.
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