An independent report into the British Medical Association, the UK’s largest medical trade union, has described it as an old boys club that undervalues women with instances of sexism and harassment. The report was conducted by Daphne Romney QC and found that female union members and union staff alike were undervalued and ignored due to their sex.
The report also found there were some instances of sexual harassment, including receiving unsolicited sexual propositions and explicit photographs from male committee members. Other instances of harassment included being called naughty girls and then being ignored during meetings.
This is not the first such report about sexism and harassment issues in the medical profession A few months ago we covered a report about similar in the issues in the NHS which found 8% of NHS staff had been the victims of harassment in the past year including three rapes.
The report by Daphne Romney rightly notes that the culture has been allowed to fester by senior members of the BMA, who do not call out or clamp down on the inappropriate behaviour. The report also states that this could be due to under representation of women at the upper echelons of the BMA leadership. The BMA is also yet to have a female chairperson in its 187-year history.