Table 3

Barriers to women progressing into, and through, medical leadership roles

Perceived capability“I probably wouldn't have done any of these things without encouragement. I wouldn't have had the sort of confidence I think to take on those roles unless somebody had asked me to do it.” (female, professional organisation)“I've heard it said … ‘Oh no, she wouldn't be interested. She's got two young children. She wouldn't be interested to be head of department.’ What? … Why not?” (female, hospital)“I can understand that could sometimes be a factor, being female and not being taken really seriously, unless you're like really good …” (female, hospital)
Perceived capacity“And in reality, I don't have children. I haven't had time off for maternity leave. I've worked full time for this period of time. I don't think I would be where I am if I hadn't done that.” (female, government department) “I must admit that some of those senior female doctors have been very harsh on their female colleagues around maternity leave and coming back into part time roles.” (male, hospital)“So you know a full-timer gets $24000 a year [for continuing education], a part-timer will get proportionally less, but that doesn't mean that their educational requirements are less.” (male, hospital)
Perceived credibility“I've done a Fulbright scholarship … but it's not something that I would raise. But, it's interesting that other people find it an important thing.”—(female, government department)“From time to time you will find there will be an old grey-haired man who won't want to have anything to do with a young female medical administrator.” (female, hospital)“Because it's competing for resources and because it's whoever yells the loudest is the one heard.” (male, hospital)