Gender equity

Improving gender equity in psychiatry

Gender equity in health care matters. Starting a conversation about how we can all contribute to gender equity is an important part of promoting an inclusive and supportive College for everyone. The College has published a discussion paper and data snapshot about this in 2022. 

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Gender equity: highlights

  • Interest in a career in psychiatry has shifted towards females across the last decade. Just over 58% of Psychiatry Interest Forum (PIF) members are female. Since 2013, more than 50% of new psychiatry trainees have been female. 
  • 2014 was the first year that more new female Fellows were admitted than males, and this has occurred on several other occasions since that time. The average age of admission to Fellowship has been almost identical for both males and females since 2012.
  • Enrolments in College Certificates of Advanced Training reached gender parity in 2016. Since then, there has been a general trend of more females both enrolling and completing.
  • Of the 884 filled committee positions on the 125 College committees included in the dataset evaluated, 57% are held by males and 43% by females. This is relatively in line with the College membership.
  • Australian Branch and Tu Te Akaaka Roa - New Zealand National Committee composition is also generally balanced. 

Gender equity: areas for further action

  • Although College committee participation is relatively reflective of the membership balance, males are over-represented (63.2%) in committee chair roles. 
  • In Australia, there are more male specialist international medical graduates on the pathway to Fellowship (67%) than females (33%).
  • 78.5% of Clinical Director positions are held by males, and 21.5% by females across Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand. Directors of Training positions are similarly unbalanced. Directors of Advanced Training positions are less imbalanced.
  • Approximately 110 College members hold clinical academic positions within psychiatry at 24 universities across Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand. Fifty-eight per cent of these positions are held by males, and 42% held by females. However, 80% of senior positions (e.g. Head of Psychiatry) are held by males. 
  • Since 2009, male presenters at the annual College Congress have accounted for ≥ 75% of total keynote speaking spots. The 2019 Congress saw the first balanced gender split with four female keynote speakers. 
  • Over the past four years, females have occupied around a quarter of the total number of positions on editorial boards or committees for the College’s two journals, Australasian Psychiatry and the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry.

*All datasets obtained at various times across 2021.


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