The number of females working in the medical sector has seen an exciting swing, with more women hired as Barwon Health intern doctors over the last decade than men.
Since 2006, the number of female medical interns at Barwon Health has surpassed male employees by 79, breaking down gender barriers in the once male-dominated profession.
Keeping in tune with this year’s “Balance for Better” theme for International Women’s Day (Friday March 8), Barwon Health is celebrating its expanding workplace by recognising the female employees who make up 75 percent of overall staff.
Associate Professor Christine Somerville, Barwon Health’s director of nephrology who supervises training for hospital medical officers, said the best candidates are always hired for the job during the recruitment process.
“In nearly all medical schools, there are more women than male students now,” she said.
“That’s been the case for many years, and Geelong certainly has had significantly more over the past decade or so.
“Despite the fact that women comprise over 50 per cent of medical students and young doctors, there’s still relatively few women in the more senior medical positions of the industry, but I think that will change for sure.”
Associate Professor Somerville said although the landscape of medicine is changing, there are still some areas where women are “under-represented”, including urology and orthopaedic surgery.
“But even there Geelong is fairing well with Kathryn McLeod one of our respected urologists. In the latter half of last year, all three of Barwon Health’s new orthopaedic registrars were women,” she said.
She also said women are likely to be overlooked for promotions due to time spent raising a family, with men more able to advance their careers without having to make personal sacrifices.
“Early in my career, people would assume you were the nurse, but that’s all changed now,” she said.
“That’s a really old-fashioned view because there are so many more women doctors and male nurses.”