Table 2

Respondent estimates versus actual proportions of women by area/role

RoleAreaEstimated % female (SD)Actual % femaleDifference (estimated−actual)
Consultants/GPsGeneral practice58.25 (11.49)544.25 (3.15 to 5.36)t=7.57P<0.001*d=0.37
Medicine43.27 (11.15)376.27 (5.20 to 7.34)t=11.50P<0.001*d=0.56
Surgery24.99 (10.65)1410.99 (9.97 to 12.02)t=21.10P<0.001*d=1.03
TraineesGeneral practice63.55 (12.35)69−5.45 (−6.68 to −4.23)t=−8.75P<0.001d=0.44
Medicine53.82 (10.15)530.82 (−0.19 to 1.83)t=1.60P=0.11*d=0.08
Surgery37.37 (11.91)334.37 (3.19 to 5.55)t=7.27P<0.001*d=0.37
Medical school graduates59.68 (9.83)554.68 (3.70 to 5.65)t=9.44P<0.001*d=0.48
  • Positive difference scores indicate overestimations of women’s representation.

  • Values in brackets are 95% CIs around that difference score.

  • The t, p and d values indicate whether that difference score deviated significantly from 0 (one-sample t-test, effect size d; ie, whether estimations of women’s representation significantly differed from their true representation).

  • *Virtually identical results evident (for both male and female respondents) when limiting analyses to respondents (trainees and consultants/GPs) who were themselves in this area of medicine (analyses not applicable regarding medical school graduates). Actual percentages reflect statistics aligned to the time of data collection (obtained from refs 21 22).

  • GPs, general practitioners.