Discrimination against women still exists in veterinary medicine, according to a new study in Great Britain. Researchers from the British Veterinary Association (BVA) surveyed 260 UK-based partners, managers and employers by asking them to review a performance evaluation of a vet. In one video, the vet was male and in the other, female. Other than this, the vets in the video were identical, including depth of skill and knowledge.
Dr. Chris Begeny and Professor Michelle Ryan discovered that about half the respondents (44 percent) offered “Mark,” the male vet in the video, a significantly higher salary than “Elizabeth” — between $1,400 and $4,100 more. Interestingly, those respondents who were most insistent that female veterinarians did not face discrimination were also those who showed the highest pay disparity, believing that “Mark” was more competent than “Elizabeth.”
There had long been a feeling in England that the pay gap would rectify itself as the large numbers of female vets continued through their careers, but this study shows that the gap will not close automatically.
This study was conducted by the Vet Futures Project and was the second research project to delve into the motivation levels, retention and confidence in the veterinary profession. The first study found that only 61 percent of 1,250 vets polled were satisfied with their job and 37 percent were thinking of leaving veterinary medicine, many of them female.
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