Perceptions of gender equity among critical care and other health professionals: A cross-sectional survey

Kelly Thompson, Naomi Hammond, Doug Lynch, M. Van Der Merwe, Lucy Modra, Sarah Yong, Sarah Grattan, J. Stokes-Parish*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Objective: The objective of this study was to determine the association between gender and perceived gender equity in the critical care workforce and other health specialties. Design and setting: We conducted an online cross-sectional survey between September and November 2020. Data on demographics and perceptions of equity including the representation of women across departments and in leadership roles, knowledge of and access to flexible work practices and carers leave, and opportunities for promotion were collected. Participants: The study population included health professionals from critical care (defined as intensive care and emergency) and other specialties. We conducted a descriptive gender-disaggregated analysis. Results: A total of 478 respondents (70% women) completed the survey. The mean age of respondents was 43.9 ± 11.2 years. Approximately half of respondents were medical practitioners (n = 235, 54%), followed by nurses (n = 135, 36%)—the remainder were from other professions. The critical care workforce accounted for 280 (64%) of responder practice settings. Statistically significant differences were reported between genders on issues such as having confidence that their department would resolve equity issues (87 [70.7%] men vs. 146 [48.2%] women; p = 0.007), access to flexible work practices (5/124 [4.0%] men vs. 20/305 [6.6%] women p = 0.001), and taking unpaid leave for carer responsibilities (91 [30.3%] women vs 9 [7.4%] men, p < 0.001). Conclusions: This work highlights differences in how men and women perceive gender equity, particularly in the critical care workforce. These findings are important to understand health care practitioners’ perceptions of gender equity, as these perceptions inform behaviour.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalAustralian Critical Care
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 12 Aug 2023


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  • CODA Equity Lab

    Stokes-Parish, J., Lynch, D., Thomson, K. & Hammond, N.


    Project: Research

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