Healthcare Paper on Discrimination and Harassment

Discrimination and Harassment


The future of healthcare is promising for women. However, this is how the situation looks on the surface. Fairly, both men and women have been enrolling for medical courses and thus have gone ahead to hold a wide range of positions within the industry. Women healthcare professionals have been a source of inspiration in the field that was previously reserved for men. Nevertheless, they are still held back from attaining most of the positions due to discrimination and harassment. In most cases, women have had to contend with discrimination and sexism before they can achieve their goals. What is not known to many is the fact that unfair treatment of female practitioners has its adverse effects. Experts reveal that medical communities have had to lose out on crucial services because of the inability of women professionals to appropriately carry out their duties (Murnaghan, 2013). In the medical world, there are specific services that need to be offered by women, and if they fail due to discrimination and harassment, then medical services may not meet their intended goals. For healthcare industry to comprehensively fulfill its goals and objectives, women must not be subjected to discrimination and harassment.

Women Discrimination and Harassment

There is an unequal representation of women in the medical industry. In the United States, women have been underrepresented in the medical industry. Notably, they occupy about 25 percent of medical positions in areas such as family medicine, pediatrics, gynecology, and obstetrics (Haskins, 2016). In regards to management and leadership, surveys have revealed that only 15 percent of women hold departmental chair positions and only 16 percent are medical deans (Haskins, 2016). Consequently, only 18 percent of women occupy hospital CEO positions (Haskins, 2016).  It is a fact that women are needed in senior positions especially when it comes to policy formulation and implementation. As pointed out by medical professionals, “women are significant when talking about positions of authority in healthcare; these people can make profound systemic changes focused on addressing needs, especially for women” (Haskins, 2016). Women have had significant growth and contributions in the pharmacology field; however, they grapple with policies and norms deeply rooted in discrimination, harassment, and sexism. This field has been rewarding to them, and it has presented female professionals with flexibility and substantial earnings. Nonetheless, discrimination and harassment have restricted their growth opportunities.

Similar problems have been witnessed in pharmacy business ownership. Medical experts assert that part of the problem is related to the handoff of independent pharmacies trend (Haskins, 2016). There has been a succession problem in the male-dominated business because women with right skills and qualifications are not comfortable with taking up positions leading to business ownership. They are mainly taking themselves out of the business because of fear of stereotyping. They are not joining this lucrative field because they fear discrimination, harassment, failure, and risk. The imbalance is visible as most pharmacy stores are run and operated by men. Without cases of discrimination and harassment, women can excel in the pharmacy field since most of them have the right skills and qualification to address societal, medical needs. The same sentiments are echoed in the surgical field. It is a shame that women are subjected to inhumane treatment in surgical theatres and training, and yet some men cannot withstand pressure during surgery.

Women face a lot of hardship in the medical industry. In most cases, they are often mistaken for other roles. According to research studies, pregnancy can threaten career prospects while sexual harassment hinders the provision of fundamental services in the industry (Haskins, 2016). When subjected to such working conditions, it is easy for female professionals to fall back into stereotypes bedeviling the industry. However, these cases may not be deliberate as male doctors may succumb to the pressure of their jobs, to become more racist and sexist. According to experts, confirmation bias may inappropriately be used to make decisions and thus reinforce negative stereotypes that hinder service provision by women (Haskins, 2016).  Stereotypes hurt the general provision of services because as claimed by professionals, “the general patient population as whole would definitely benefit with availability of diverse medical professionals that is in charge of care and wellness provision” (Haskins, 2016). Fundamentally, if women are left out, the sector will conditionally miss out on their expertise and insights that are equally important when integrated. Female patients may at times feel comfortable discussing their medical issues with female professionals.


The health sector will only succeed in service provision when women are empowered. Further, there is need to eliminate stereotypes characterized by discrimination and harassment. As pointed out, we need more women in pharmacy because the area is the first line of healthcare in many societies. The sector also requires women to take up leadership positions to spearhead healthcare reforms and agenda. To turn the tide, healthcare reforms are needed at all levels of healthcare. There is need to establish standards of parity to level the playing ground so that that service provision can be based on skills, experience, and expertise irrespective of race or gender orientations of an individual.



Haskins Julia. (2016). Sexism is alive, well in the healthcare industry. Healthline. Available at: Retrieved April 21, 2018.

Murnaghan Ian. (2013). Gender discrimination in the health sector. A health Career. Available

at: Retrieved April 22, 2018.