Table 3

Respondents’ estimates versus actual proportions of women by area/role, examined separately for male and female respondents

RoleAreaEstimated % female (SD)Actual % femaleDifference (estimated−actual)
Consultants/GPsGeneral practiceEstimated byMale respondents56.83 (11.14)542.83a (1.35 to 4.31)t=3.77P<0.001d=0.25
Female respondents59.83 (11.69)5.83a (4.19 to 7.47)t=7.01P<0.001d=0.50
MedicineEstimated byMale respondents42.76 (10.61)375.76 (4.35 to 7.17)t=8.06P<0.001d=0.54
Female respondents43.83 (11.72)6.83 (5.19 to 8.48)t=8.21P<0.001d=0.58
SurgeryEstimated byMale respondents24.75 (10.62)1410.75 (9.34 to 12.17)t=15.02P<0.001d=1.01
Female respondents25.26 (10.71)11.26 (9.76 to 12.76)t=14.79P<0.001d=1.05
TraineesGeneral practiceEstimated byMale respondents62.28 (11.91)69−6.72b (−8.36 to −5.08)t=−8.08P<0.001d=0.57
Female respondents64.93 (12.70)−4.07b (−5.90 to −2.24)t=−4.39P<0.001d=0.32
MedicineEstimated byMale respondents53.15 (10.28)530.15 (−1.27 to 1.56)t=0.20P=0.84d=0.01
Female respondents54.55 (9.99)1.55 (0.12 to 2.99)t=2.13P=0.03d=0.16
SurgeryEstimated byMale respondents37.36 (11.48)334.36 (2.78 to 5.94)t=5.43P<0.001d=0.38
Female respondents37.38 (12.40)4.38 (2.59 to 6.16)t=4.84P<0.001d=0.35
Medical school graduatesEstimated byMale respondents59.75 (8.48)554.75 (3.58 to 5.92)t=8.02P<0.001d=0.56
Female respondents59.60 (11.13)4.60 (2.99 to 6.20)t=5.66P<0.001d=0.41
  • Positive difference scores indicate overestimations of women’s representation.

  • Values in brackets are 95% CI 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).

  • The superscripts ‘a’ and ‘b’ indicate the magnitude of male and female respondents’ overestimation/underestimations (ie, their mean deviations from the actual % female) for this area/role significantly differing from one another (t=2.68/2.14, p=0.01/.03, d=0.26/.22). For all other areas/roles (without a superscript), male and female respondents’ overestimations did not significantly differ from one another (all t≤1.37, p≥0.17). Actual percentages reflect statistics aligned to the time of data collection (obtained from refs 21 22).

  • GPs, general practitioners.