Medicine is a profession with a female majority, but as the ranks rise the glass ceiling is clearly perceived that women have to deal with. In the state61% of medical professionals in public health systems are women, but only 20% hold leadership positions. However, there is a great variation between communities and Navarra is the one that comes out the best, since it is the territory of the State with the smallest gender gap in Medicine.
The Navarro Health Service-Osasunbidea (SNS-O) employs 2,061 physicians, of whom 67% (1,380) are women. Regarding positions of responsibilitywomen hold 46.7% of the Service Headquarters and 53.2% of the Section Headquarters of Osasunbideasome percentages that although they are not directly proportional to the total number of doctors, they are the highest figures in the State.
This is data that is collected in the study Women in Medicine in Spain’ (WOMEDS), prepared by the Federation of Spanish Medical Scientific Associations (FACME) with the aim of identifying gender gaps within the medical profession. As can be seen from this report, of the 12 communities that provided information on leadership positions between 2019 and 2021, a low percentage of women heads of service was observed, which oscillates between 20.3% in Andalusia and 46.7% in Navarra. Regarding section heads, again there are figures with room for improvement and great variation according to CCAA, which are between 24.8% in Aragon and 53.2% in Navarra.
Specifically, the study analyzed leadership positions corresponding to four areas: health care, participation in professional organizations (scientific societies, medical congresses, professional associations), academic positions, and research. Thus, regarding scientific societies at the state level, only three had a female president during the entire period 2019 and 2021: the Spanish Society of Clinical Pharmacology (SEFC), the Spanish Society of Endocrinology (SEEN) and the Spanish Society of Laboratory Medicine (SEQC-ML); Eight societies had both female presidents and presidents, while the rest had a man as their highest representative throughout the period.
Regarding his presence as speakers at national medical congresses organized by scientific societies, It is noteworthy that only in three (the Spanish Society of Nuclear Medicine, the Spanish Society of Cardiology, and the Spanish Society of Dermatology and Venereology) the ratio was greater than 1 in this period.
In the boards of directors of the official colleges of doctors, the percentage of women ranges from 11% in Burgos to 64.3% in Cantabria. Only seven of the 61 medical associations in Spain had a female president during the entire 2019-2021 period, compared to the position of deputy secretary, which was held by women in 38.6%.
In the case of medical academiesthe percentage oscillates between 0 percent in Salamanca, Seville, Asturias, Galicia and Valladolid and 50% in Catalonia, the most frequent position being that of general secretary (23.1%).
Faculties of Medicine
In Spain there are currently 46 Faculties of Medicinealthough the data collected is from 2021, when there were 44. It was possible to collect information from 39 of them in the study, which they put on the table that, of the 13,567 teachers in these centers, 45% were womenbut only 28% were professors.
Likewise, the percentage of female medical professors directing doctoral theses (38%) is clearly lower than that of men; Similarly, the female percentage for department heads and deans was 26 and 27% respectively in the 2020-2021 academic year.
In the field of research, the study shows that women requested fewer projects than men in 2020. 45% of the projects presented were led by women, but the gap was especially notable in some modalities such as independent clinical research, in which only 22% of the applications were led by a woman. It is also noteworthy that the average financing of the projects granted to women was 24.3% lower than that of men.
Likewise, the women who requested and received aid from the research activity intensification program, which facilitates dedication to this activity by attending physicians, they were around 30% in the years 2019 and 2020 and 40% in 2021.