The Current State of Gender Discrimination and Sexual Harassment in the Radiology Workplace: A Survey

Elsevier, Academic Radiology, Volume 29, March 2022
Pitot M.A., White M.A., Edney E., Mogensen M.A., Solberg A., Kattapuram T. et al.

Rationale and Objectives: Our objectives were (1) to determine the extent to which gender discrimination and sexual harassment are experienced by female radiologists and trainees; (2) to examine whether experiencing harassment or discrimination influences perceptions of gender parity; and (3) to explore whether the existence of either formal institutional policies or the number of women in the workplace and/or in leadership positions influences perceptions of having achieved gender equity. Materials and Methods: An online anonymous questionnaire, developed through an Association of University Radiologists (AUR) – affiliated 2019–2020 Task Force, was used to assess participant demographics, perceptions of gender parity, and experiences of gender discrimination and sexual harassment. Results: A total of 375 complete responses were collected. All respondents were female with most practices consisting of fewer than 25% female radiologists. The majority of respondents reported having been a victim of sexual harassment (n = 226, 60.3%) and gender discrimination (n = 318, 84.8%) in the workplace. Approximately 87.5% of participants believed workplace gender parity would take longer than 10 years to achieve; 26.9% responded that it will never happen. Experiencing gender discrimination or harassment in the workplace was significantly associated with a negative outlook on achieving gender parity. Conversely, the presence and number of adequate formal institutional policies to address workplace gender equity and harassment were significantly associated with optimistic views on achieving gender parity. Higher percentages of women in one's practice as well as number of women in leadership positions were also significantly associated with more optimistic expectations. Conclusion: Gender discrimination and sexual harassment are common in the field of radiology and influence victims’ outlook on achieving gender parity in the workplace. Perceptions can be improved by implementing adequate institutional training policies on harassment and increasing the representation of female radiologists.