A new report on the gender gap in healthcare: A look at how the health care industry is tackling the gender disparity
- by admin
Health is one of the most important sectors of the Australian economy and it is an area where the health industry is making a real difference to the lives of women and girls.
A recent report by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) looked at the gender balance in health professionals, with women representing 43 per cent of the workforce and men making up only 23 per cent.
The report found that the percentage of women in health professions was almost double the percentage in other fields.
Health education and training was one of those fields where women were over-represented in the profession.
While the percentage overall of women working in the health sector is only 15 per cent, the percentage at the very top of the pay scale is more than 70 per cent (the CEO’s gender ratio is 70 per a 1.0).
There are two important points to make here: First, the women in the top 5 per cent are the ones that have the most access to health education and are most likely to be female.
Second, the top 10 per cent make up about one in five of the profession’s workforce.
As the report notes, these statistics are representative of the industry as a whole and they can be used as a benchmark for future policy and research.
The main driver for the gender imbalance is that health education is more broadly available to women and that access to it is lower than for men.
A key area of research in this area is the National Health and Care Improvement Program (NHCIP), a government-led initiative to help women access health services, including primary care and mental health services.
A 2010 report commissioned by the National Women’s Council found that women were underrepresented in primary care, mental health and primary care providers.
A 2012 review of the NHCIP found that a lack of female health professionals had a significant impact on the effectiveness of the program.
While women make up a significant proportion of the health workforce, they are underrepresented compared to their male counterparts in primary and other health services (the gender gap is between one-third and one-half of the female health workforce).
The gap in women’s health professionals has been highlighted by the ABS as a major contributor to the gender pay gap.
One of the ways in which women are under-represented is through lack of training, with the proportion of women who have completed their first year of tertiary education or have a degree from a non-government tertiary institution (NSUET) at nearly 60 per cent and that of men at only about 35 per cent .
The study, titled Women in the Workplace: The Role of Gender and Health Education, looked at how women in both primary and primary-care settings had access to a range of healthcare services.
While most women had access in primary- and secondary-care services, the proportion accessing health education was more uneven across the board.
Women in tertiary settings tended to make up the majority of health professionals and those who were trained were more likely to practise health and wellbeing.
The majority of women practitioners who were part of the survey worked in primary health settings, with a smaller proportion in tertiaries.
Women were also under- represented in some areas of tertiaries where women dominated the health profession, such as in social work, dentistry and primary health.
In addition, women are more likely than men to be employed in primary settings, and those employed in these settings are more than three times as likely to have access to tertiary health services .
As a result, the health-care sector faces significant challenges in the areas of training and access.
This report looks at how we can better equip our women to be health professionals in a diverse workforce, particularly for the health professions, in order to help tackle the gender inequality that is currently a key issue in health.
Health is one of the most important sectors of the Australian economy and it is an area where the health…