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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 38  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 282-286

Challenges and gender-based differences for women in the Indian urological workforce: Results of a survey

1 Department of Urology and Renal Transplant, Kasturba Medical College, Manipal, Karnataka, India
2 Department of Urology, Institute of Nephro Urology, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
Arun Chawla
Department of Urology and Renal Transplant, Kasturba Medical College, Manipal, Karnataka
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/iju.iju_143_22

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Introduction: Entry of women into urology has not kept pace with that in other surgical branches with only 1% of Urological Society of India (USI) members being female. The objective of this study was to explore the personal and professional challenges, practice barriers, and level of satisfaction among female urologists/urology trainees in India. Methods: A strictly confidential and anonymous 26-item questionnaire with respect to professional and personal challenges, workplace discrimination, and family satisfaction was circulated as a Google form through email and WhatsApp to all the female members of the USI (full and associate) and trainees (n = 48) based on identification from the USI directory. Results: Thirty-three out of 48 female urologists responded (68%). Among the respondents (n = 33), majority had <5 years of experience (60.6%), of which 30.3% were residents, which reflected a recent surge in women joining urology. Majority (57.7%) chose to subspecialize, commonly in “female urology”. Many (72.7%) were encouraged to take this subspecialty. Gender discrimination at workplace was reported by 54.5%, commonly by patients and consultants. 68% of respondents had conceived either before or during residency, leading to additional domestic responsibilities. 9.1% suffered a pregnancy-related complication, which they believed was a direct consequence of their work environment. These obstacles led to 30.3% of women reporting that their personal life had compromised their careers. Professional dissatisfaction was reported by 60.1% of women, with common causes being less operative time than male counterparts and lack of mentorship. Despite these challenges given a chance, 78.7% would choose urology again, and 66.7% would encourage their daughter to pursue a career in urology. Conclusion: Professional and personal challenges as perceived by women responding to our survey include gender discrimination in training and work, lack of mentorship, pregnancy-related compilations, and compromised career due to family responsibilities. Despite these, most would choose this specialty again.

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