Table 1

Participant-perceived barriers to a career in surgery

BarrierResponse, % (n)
Not a profession conducive with motherhood, family and children34 (28)
Childcare issues16(13)
‘Old boys’ club/network16 (13)
Male attitudes/bias13 (11)
Culture of surgery as a masculine field12 (10)
Unconscious bias12 (10)
Lack of flexible/part-time training12 (10)
Unsocial hours/working patterns/rotas10 (8)
Perceptions by nurses and patients that women are not able to be surgeons7 (6)
Maternity leave/career break6 (5)
Women are excluded from ‘male-only’ social events6 (5)
Women less confident in their abilities5 (4)
Lack of female role models5 (4)
Men have more variety in surgical career choices5 (4)
Male surgeons behaving inappropriately4 (3)
Patients prefer male surgeons4 (3)
Image of female surgeons as being on par with a nurse2 (2)
Perceptions that women will want a less onerous career2 (2)
Social barriers2 (2)
Barriers are explicit, not hidden2 (2)
Lack of flexibility2 (2)
Women need to be seen as ruthless in order to succeed2 (2)
Women need to pull their weight like a man2 (2)
Hard for women to establish a private practice(1)
Personal expectations(1)
Historical/traditional expectations of women(1)
No barriers4 (3)
Respondent skipped question7(6)