According to Washington Post Journalist, Carolyn Y. Johnson in her article, “Women Really are Better Doctors, Study Suggests”, there exist indications that females possess increased aptitude and capability to excel in the medical arena. Specifically, they differ from men in their adherence to clinical guidelines, and increased communication. Additionally, women doctors, according to Northeastern psychology professor Judith Hall, “tend to be more patient-centered…and are better judges of nonverbal cues.”
Hall, 20 years ago, eventually concluded based on evidence that females indeed make the better doctors.
As I delve further and further into my Active Voice project, I encounter extremely piquant pieces of information like this regarding the placement and current status of women in STEM fields.
So, what does all this mean to me? And why does it matter? Well, as revealed in a 2016 study, today there persists a $20,000 pay gap between male and female doctors. Indeed, there may be an implicit bias compelling employers to fear decreased female participation and activity following childbirth.
To think such an archaic thought process may still bear influence over our job prospects in 2016 is terrifying — especially when there is empirical proof that we could be better at the very jobs we often feel discouraged to do, be it due to lack of opportunity, comfort or incapacitating intimidation incited by the odds stacked against us.
But the attack and power of archaic, misogynistic and unfair thoughts in our employment process is not what is new. What’s changed is that now, we have a president-elect whose sheer presence has legitimized misogyny. Out President-Elect has a notorious history where he has allowed the objectification, and overt discrediting of women to be acceptable or, at the very least, okay.
Trump’s attitude regarding women amplifies and paralyzes me even more than before his electoral college win in the historic 2016 election. As I embark on this journey as an Active Voice fellow, meeting young women who may want to pursue STEM and who are in dire need of role models and encouragement, I am disheartened. In connecting with women firmly established in STEM fields, women who not only fought the odds to excel, but also remained steadfast in the face of derision and solitude, I am impacted more and more by the absolute necessity of wage equality. Hell, I am resolute in the very idea of equality in itself. And, now, in such an important time, our paradigm has completely shifted. I’m not sure where we as women, or as a Nation, go from here. Under our new administration, what will be our path now.
While I do not know how, I know that we as women will prevail. History tells us so, as do my instincts. So, 2017, here we women come; hear us talk back and watch us continue to change the political, social and economic landscape. It’s gonna be a great ride, and I am so honored to be paving the way.