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The push for gender-based equity in health care

Published: March 6, 2020 By: Jesef Williams
Sharonne N. Hayes, MD, director of diversity and inclusion at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, recently presented on the UF Health Jacksonville campus about gender-based equity in health care. View Larger Image

Guest speaker discusses stats and attitudes surrounding harassment and gender-based disparities in the workplace.

Sharonne N. Hayes, MD, director of diversity and inclusion at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, recently visited the UF Health Jacksonville campus to discuss gender-based discrimination and harassment in the health care workplace. Her presentation anchored the campus’ “Achieving Safety, Equity & Dignity: Time’s Up in Healthcare” event, held Feb. 11 in the Learning Resource Center Auditorium.

Hayes, who is also a professor of cardiovascular medicine at Mayo Clinic, shared national statistics and widespread myths surrounding the topic. For instance, a study published last year in The New England Journal of Medicine indicated that 65% of female surgical trainees have reported experiencing gender discrimination. In addition, 20% of them have reported sexual harassment and 13% have reported discrimination surrounding their pregnancy or child care.

“Inequity is an issue,” Hayes said, referring to significant pay gaps among men and women who perform the same jobs.

“The statistics are indeed disturbing and reflect the need to foster honest, healthy dialogue around ways to handle — and ultimately eliminate — unfavorable gender-based treatment,” said Leon L. Haley Jr., MD, MHSA, CEO of UF Health Jacksonville and dean of the University of Florida College of Medicine – Jacksonville.

The UF Health enterprise in Jacksonville pledges to uphold the following tenets:

  • Every employee should have equitable opportunity, support and compensation.
  • Sexual harassment and gender inequity have no place in the health care workplace.
  • We are committed to preventing sexual harassment and gender inequality while protecting and aiding those who are targets.
  • We must understand, measure and track the scope and impact of sexual harassment and gender-based inequities.

“We have yet to fulfill all of the components of the Time’s Up initiative,” Haley said. “But it is our goal as an enterprise to push forward, with concrete steps, to meet all the expectations.”   

Sharonne N. Hayes, MD, director of diversity and inclusion at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, recently presented on the UF Health Jacksonville campus about gender-based equity in health care.

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