IWD 2021: The lessons of the Mend the Gap review must be learned

HCSA President Dr Claudia Paoloni explains her personal story as a woman in medicine and explains why the gender pay gap is real, damaging and must not be sidelined.

To mark International Women’s Day, HCSA President Dr Claudia Paoloni has today in the BMJ shared her thoughts on tackling the gender pay gap, arguing that it must start with the NHS fully embracing flexible working to ensure a sustainable medical workforce.

Her personal experiences will be familiar to many women doctors juggling childcare, caring responsibilities for elderly relatives and a demanding role as a clinical lead – which ultimately, in her case, led to burnout.

Claudia concludes: “Younger doctors, no matter their gender, are increasingly seeking a better work-life balance through reduced hours and portfolio careers. These trends have to be recognised and embraced to ensure a sustainable medical workforce. They mean the NHS must create meaningful opportunities for flexible working, with creative pathways to advance that do not require full-time working for the full career term, yet still enable the full range of opportunities.

“It must also create innovative modes of delivering care based on larger numbers of less than full time doctors, without financial penalty for those who choose to do so. By doing so the NHS will not just benefit staff, but deliver a more sustainable health service for patients too.”

You can read the full article on the BMJ website.