Is gender inequality still present in the veterinary world?

Despite being a female dominated sector, recent studies suggest that gender discrimination is still present and negatively impacting career aspirations.

In this blog, we look at examples of this inequality and discuss how we can work towards making positive change. 

Example numero uno 

A study led by the BVA aimed to answer the following two questions:

  1. To what extent do employers and managers think women still face discrimination in the profession?
  2. To what extent do employers and managers treat female and male vets differently?

To find this out, a group of 260 UK-based employers, partners, and managers were asked to provide a performance evaluation for a fictional junior vet. 

However, half of the participants were given a scenario where the vet was called ‘Elizabeth’, while the other group were asked to evaluate ‘Mark’. It is important to note that both ‘characters’ performed identically in the evaluation and shared the same level of experience – the only difference was their gender. 

What were the results? 

Not only did the respondents offer Mark £1,100 to £3,300 more when pressed on what they thought would be an appropriate salary, but also rated him as more competent than Elizabeth. 

Ironically, the 44% who initially said gender inequality no longer existed in the workplace, were the same group that gave Mark a higher salary. 

On the other hand, the group that said gender discrimination still exists, rated both ‘candidates’ the same in terms of proficiency and when deciding on an appropriate salary.

The gender pay gap is real: example numero dos

A more recent study by CM Research found that female veterinary professionals are earning up to 36% less than their male counterparts in the same role. This data was collected from 810 vets across the UK who shared their salaries and position within the practice.

On average, female partners earn £51,315, while her male counterpart makes £69,755 – that’s a staggering £18,440 difference. 

This gender pay gap seems to extend across all positions, with veterinary nurses taking home £1,707 less than their male colleagues. 

A separate study by the Society of Practising Veterinary Surgeons, also found a significant difference in the pay between men and women in the sector. Rooted in data from 700 UK vets and 630 veterinary nurses, it noted a 19% disparity in annual salaries. 

How can we take action? 

Here’s a few ways in which employers can take action to help close the gender pay gap: 

  • Be transparent about pay in job posts
  • Review current pay of all employees
  • Clearly communicate salary range in interview 
  • Interview equal number of men and women where possible
  • Shortlist women for promotions 

Here at Choice Vets, we are advocates for equal pay and are always transparent about salaries with our candidates. 

Talk to a member of our team today on 0203 9784 104 to learn more about the roles we are currently hiring for.