Sexism, sexual harassment, and sexual assault are commonplace in the healthcare workforce. Too many of us have witnessed or been subject to it… the female med student asked to stay late lone working with a senior male doctor, being looked over for opportunities at work, unwelcome touching at conferences, comments on your appearance… the list is endless.
91% of women doctors had experienced sexism in the last two years
60% of nursing staff said they had experienced sexual harassment at work
56% of women doctors received unwanted verbal comments relating to their gender in the last two years
31% of women doctors had experienced unwanted physical conduct in the last two years
8% of allied healthcare professionals had been sexually harassed in the last year
Despite these statistics these issues remain endemic in healthcare. We launched Surviving in Scrubs to tackle this problem, giving a voice to women and non-binary survivors in healthcare to raise awareness and end sexism, sexual harassment, and sexual assault in healthcare. The project is simple – you share your stories anonymously and we publish them. This will create a narrative of shared experiences that cannot be ignored. The strength in our collective voices will allow us to campaign and push for change in healthcare to end the culture of misogyny.
We are working hard to raise awareness of this issue in healthcare. Since the campaign launched we have had more than 160 stories submitted, showing the sheer scale of sexism and sexual violence in healthcare.
We are working with national healthcare organisations and regulators to challenge this culture and push for change. Over the last year we have been working with NHS England, NHS Education for Scotland, the BMA, the GMC, the healthcare royal colleges, the ambulance services in Wales and England and trusts across the UK. We will continue until every person in healthcare feels safe working in an environment free from sexism and sexual violence.