In a recent study conducted jointly by Harvard Medical School and the highly respected Massachusetts General Hospital it was determined female doctors earn less than their male counterparts. The study was one of the largest analyses of salary data ever conducted for any profession. Data on 10,000 physician faculty members at 24 medical schools was compiled and studied. The findings were published in the Journal of the American Medical Association and the findings were reported by various media outlets including “The Boston Globe”. The financing for the study came from the National Institute of Health.
FEMALE DOCTORS EARN 8% LESS
The study found that female doctors earn 8% less than their male counterparts. This averaged out to about a $20,000 discrepancy between male and female salaries even after adjusting for age, faculty rank, and specialty. On average male doctors earned $247,661 per year while female doctors earned $227,783 per year. On both a dollar amount and a percent basis the discrepancy is both real and significant.
Before adjusting for factors that could influence income the difference was more severe. The difference in this case was $51,000 per year. Men earned $257,947 while women earned $206,641.
Dr. A. B. Jena, lead author and associate professor at Harvard Medical School stated he saw “clear cases of discrimination”.
The study results must be recognized as real given the status of the author, the funding and the two key participants [Harvard Medical School and Mass General Hospital].
THE GENDER GAP
The Gender Gap in this country is real. And it shows little hope for a quick fix. One of the most disconcerting elements in the Gender Gap is the fact women’s salaries do not close the gap as they achieve higher levels of education and responsible positions. In fact studies have shown that the gap widens as women achieve master’s degrees and doctorates.
I have had a number of people argue with me that the Gender Gap is non-existent. The naysayers usually give me a single individual or small example. The study in question included data from 10,000 men and women. Hopefully business and professions begin to take notice of this issue and set about to fix it.
Jamie Dimon, Chairman and CEO of JP Morgan Chase announced yesterday that his company is raising the salaries of 18,000 employees and also dedicating millions more to training for employees. On one hand this is good news. On the other hand he never addressed the issue of the Gender Gap. It would have been a perfect moment to address this issue and take a prominent or leadership position and yet he passed on the opportunity. This announcement came on the heels of a “New York Times” article on Sunday revealing the horrendous treatment of women by the men of Wall Street. An article written by Sam Polk titled “How Wall Street Bro Talk Keeps Women Down” included a reference to the serious wage disparity on Wall Street. Additionally, research has shown the financial segment to be one of the worst abusers of the Gender Gap. Sadly, Dimon dropped the ball when he had a chance to make a difference.
The fix for the Gender Gap has to come from us, from industry. Government regulations are not the solution. Some leaders are stepping up to the problem. It’s a shame when leaders such as Jamie Dimon sidestep the issue and allow the Gender Gap to continue.
The Gender Gap needs a leader who can bring about needed change and end the gap.