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University researcher to work on study to reduce gender pay gap in medicine

A Manchester Metropolitan academic will be part of a research team that has received a grant from the Department of Health and Social Care to study causes of the gender pay gap in the medical profession.

Professor Carol Atkinson, Associate Dean of Research at Manchester Metropolitan Business School, will join a team of experts led by academics at the University of Surrey.

The aims of the project, which is worth £117,000, are to identify the causes of the gender pay gap in medicine through the interrogation of datasets. The development of qualitative evidence will also identify the impact of cultural, practical and psychological issues contributing to the gender pay gap.


Identifying the causes

The project was triggered as a result of an independent report commissioned by Jeremy Hunt, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care. Devised in 2016 after the junior doctors contract negotiations, the report called for the reduction and elimination of gender pay gaps in the medical profession.

Professor Atkinson said: “As part of Manchester Metropolitan’s wider research into the gender pay gap I am looking forward to working with the research team to address the issues facing the medical profession.

“The importance of the study is emphasised through the financial backing from the Department of Health and Social Care and will serve as a basis for making effective policy decisions.”


Informing future decision-making

Professor Carol Woodhams, Surrey’s newly appointed Chair of Human Resources Management, will lead the project team and aims to use the evidence obtained to offer a series of actionable recommendations that will inform future decision-making by the Doctors’ Pay Review Body. Professor Jane Dacre, President of the Royal College of Physicians, will be chairing the review.

Professor Woodhams said: “We are delighted to have been awarded the Department of Health and Social Care contract to investigate this important issue. Gender pay gaps are as pervasive in medicine as in other occupations, impacting on the recruitment, retention and morale of women medics.

“We have built a strong team that will investigate evidence of the causes of the problem leading to targeted recommendations on ways to reduce pay gaps.”

Professor Atkinson will work in close collaboration with Dr Duncan Brown of The Institute of Employment Studies, Sheila Wild at EqualPayPortal and the University of Surrey research team led by Professor Woodhams.

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