Self-belief contributes to hospital gender pay gap, meeting told

Women are paid less in senior roles in Yorkshire hospitals in part because they have less self-belief than men, local NHS directors have been told.

The head of equality, diversity and inclusion at York and Scarborough Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Virginia Golding, told board directors that although the gender pay gap is closing there is still work to do.

“There are a few disparities in terms of gender pay,” Ms Golding said at a board of directors meeting on Wednesday, September 27.

“In band seven and upwards there are disparities between male and female pay” but added that “overall the gender pay gap is reducing.”

Examples of a band seven role are communications manager, estates manager, high-intensity therapist and advanced speech and language therapist.

Band seven roles pay salaries between £43,742 and £50,056.

Band nine roles can pay more than £100,000 a year.

Dr Karen Stone, medical director at the trust, said “it’s not unusual” to see disparities in pay between men and women but added “there’s lots and lots of reasons” why this happens.

She said: “There’s a difference in gender between people’s belief in themselves,” adding the trust needs “to make sure we get applications from women” for high-paying jobs.

Dr Stone told board directors that women may value themselves less because they are more likely to be working a part-time job.

She said: “Just because someone’s working part-time doesn’t mean they are not excellent.”

According to the British Medical Association (BMA), female hospital doctors earn on average 18.9 per cent less than men, based on a comparison of full-time equivalent mean pay.

It adds that women GPs earn on average 15.3 per cent less than men and clinical academics 11.9 per cent less than men.

An article on the BMA’s website reads: “Women doctors are more likely to take time out or have periods of working or training less than full time to care for others.

“This has a disproportionate impact on their pay even after accounting for the reduced hours worked and periods of leave.”

It adds: “The structure of medical careers was designed originally for a predominantly male workforce, with the expectation of full-time work for a long career and an ability to take on extra commitments.

“This has resulted in a lower average salary for the female workforce.”