A study conducted by researchers at the University of California, San Francisco found that four out of five female physicians had experienced discrimination at work. Researchers asked members of an online community called the Physicians Moms Group about their mental and physical health as well as their experiences at work. Of the almost 6,000 women who responded, roughly 78 percent said that they had experienced some form of workplace discrimination.
Furthermore, 35 percent said that they had been the victim of maternal discrimination, which means that they are discriminated against for anything related to being a mom. Common types of maternal discrimination included issues related to breast feeding or being pregnant. The women who responded to the survey were from a wide variety of medical fields including emergency medicine, family medicine and pathology. They had also worked at a variety of institutions such as public hospitals, VA hospitals and academic research facilities.
The co-author of the study said that the findings were shocking even to her. She was the founder of the Physicians Moms Group, and she also recalled that it was a challenge balancing breast feeding while also trying to work. The study’s authors collectively concluded that supporting a woman’s physical needs on the job can make her happier and a more productive worker.
Those who face workplace discrimination regardless of gneder may wish to talk with an attorney. Legal counsel may be able to help the client resolve the issue either informally or through the court system, and the attorney may use witness statements, employment records or other evidence to support a claim.