Women play an increasingly important role in the medical workforce

  • 47 per cent of doctors in the UK are female; with 59 per cent of these women aged 30 – 49.

  • 36 per cent of consultants are now women compared with 30 per cent in 2009.

  • 45 per cent of HCHS doctors are now women, compared with 41 per cent in 2009.

  • The whole NHS workforce has remained 77 per cent female throughout this period.

  • There are now more women doctors specialising in psychiatry (51 per cent) than men (49 per cent). In 2009, 45 per cent of this specialty group were women.

  • Women have also overtaken men in clinical oncology (now 53 per cent compared to 49 per cent in 2009) and dental (now 51 per cent compared to 43 per cent in 2009).

  • Surgery continues to be predominantly male, despite a narrowing of the gap. 27 per cent of surgeons are women compared with 24 per cent in 2009.

 Data compiled by General Medical Council (2018) The state of medical education and practice in the UK, available here.

NHS Digital (2018) Narrowing of NHS Gender divide but men still the majority in senior roles, available here.

Much progress has been made, but much more remains to be done:

  • Women doctors are significantly under-represented in some specialties, particularly surgery.

  • There are very few women in senior clinical academic positions eg Deans of Medical Schools.

  • Women doctors are under-represented in key medico-political roles.