Press Release: Gender Pay Gap Review in Medicine


Press Release 28/05/2018 – Gender Pay Gap Review in Medicine


The Medical Women’s Federation (MWF) welcomes the health and social care secretary Jeremy Hunt's announcement of an independent review, chaired by Professor Jane Dacre, on how to reduce and eliminate the gender pay gap in the medical profession.

The overarching aims of the proposed review are to identify the causes of the gender pay gap in medicine and, from that evidence, develop a series of relevant and implementable recommendations.

Among other key objectives, the review will directly consider the drivers behind the gap and the obstacles that stop a female doctor progressing her NHS career in the same way as male counterparts, including:

  • Working patterns and their impact on those in the medical profession;

  • Impact of motherhood on careers and progression;

  • Care arrangements and their affordability, and issues around being a carer;

  • Access to flexible working;

  • Shared parental leave, identify factors that are resulting in a slow uptake;

  • The predominance of men in senior roles;

  • The impact of Clinical Excellence Awards;

  • Geographical issues; and

  • An analysis of lifetime gender pay differences and the gender pensions gap.

70 years after the NHS’ foundation there persists a 15% gender pay gap among doctors. Women have always played a central role in the medical profession and over half of medical graduates in recent years are female. It is vital for existing and future generations of doctors that hardworking NHS staff are rewarded fairly and equally for their work, regardless of gender.

In 2006 data published by the BMA and Medical Women’s Federation indicated there was a 13% gender pay gap for consultants. Recent figures obtained by the BBC from health trusts, the Government and NHS Digital showed that just five out of the 100 top-earning NHS consultants in England are female, despite women making up a third of the total workforce. The figures highlight that, despite recent progress on gender pay, there is still a long way to go to close the pay gap.

Dr Henrietta Bowden-Jones, MWF President, said:

The Medical Women’s Federation (MWF) welcomes the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care’s announcement of an independent review on how to reduce and eliminate the current gender pay gap of 15% in the medical profession. The aims of the review are to identify the causes of this gender pay gap taking a whole career approach and, from that evidence, develop a series of relevant and implementable recommendations. We look forward to contributing to this important national work."

The MWF will work alongside other key stakeholders to support the development of relevant and implementable recommendations. The MWF maintains a commitment to supporting women doctors in reaching their full potential by providing networking, leadership and mentoring opportunities, as well as campaigning for quality flexible working opportunities in the profession.

Dr Sally Davies, MWF Past President, said:

“The gender pay gap in Medicine continues and the current gap of 15% is similar to the 13% published in 2006 by the MWF and BMA. There are recognised factors, such as the impact of children on career and salary progression, and it is hoped that the independent review will cast more light on the unidentified issues perpetuating the difference. MWF as a key stakeholder is committed to the review and the identification of actionable recommendations.”



MWF Banner logo






The Medical Women's Federation was founded in 1917 and is today the largest and most influential body of women doctors in the UK.

MWF aims to:

    • Promote the personal and professional development of women in medicine

    • Improve the health of women and their families in society

MWF consistently works to change discriminatory attitudes and practices. MWF provides a unique network of women doctors in all branches of the profession, and at all stages from medical students to senior consultants. We aim to achieve real equality by providing practical, personal help from members who know the hurdles and have overcome them.

For further information please contact:

Medical Women's Federation, Tavistock House North, Tavistock Square, London, WC1H 9HX.

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

logo 1