Workplace flexibility is a top factor for female surgeons in Australia

workplace flexibility is a top factor for female surgeons in australia

workplace flexibility is a top factor for female surgeons in australia

Female surgeons in Australia give preference to workplace flexibility in order to move outside the big cities, according to new research. 

Only one in five general surgeons in Australia is a woman, however, they prefer workplace flexibility to practice in rural areas. According to a report by ABC News, female surgeons living and working outside the big Australian cities face difficulties with their jobs. Their perceived ability to achieve flexibility at work is one of the main determining factors in practicing in rural areas.

Australian and New Zealand Journal of Surgery survey

According to research by the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Surgery, female surgeons in rural areas wanted to work fewer hours in order to achieve workplace flexibility. They also demanded paid maternity leave to work in regional areas.

Australian and New Zealand Journal of Surgery, the leading publication for surgical research in Australia and New Zealand, conducted a survey on 36 female surgeons living in regional areas in Australia. The number represented more than half of all female surgeons in regional Australia. The survey was conducted with this sample size.

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Janelle Brennan from Monash Rural Health said in a report, “The gender of rural Australia is 51 per cent female, and it makes sense to have a workforce that is representative of the population they are treating.”

The study found that workplace flexibility was the critical factor to attract female surgeons to regional areas. The respondents said that they spent three years in training to become surgeons in big cities in Australia. Most female rural surgeons came from a rural background.

The female surgeons also said that short commutes in rural areas played an important role to working in regional areas.

Janelle Brennan on female surgeons

Janelle Brennan said that female surgeons lauded the rural areas because finding jobs for partners was easy for them. They also got time to spend with their children. These factors kept female surgeons in rural areas.

More than three-quarters of those surveyed lived in Ballarat in Victoria, Orange in New South Wales, Toowoomba in Queensland, Mildura or Townsville.

Dr Brennan said that flexibility and a good amount of pay were the factors keeping female surgeons from moving to the country. Various respondents said that work-life balance was important for them and they liked the lifestyle in rural areas.

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