COVID-19's impact on radiologist careers differs by gender

2021 05 26 16 59 1194 Male Female Symbols 400

COVID-19 has had different effects on the careers of radiologists depending on their gender, according to a study published May 25 in Academic Radiology.

A team led by Dr. Anastasia Plaunova of NYU Grossman School of Medicine found that the pandemic has negatively influenced female radiologists' career productivity as they have increasingly shouldered domestic duties.

The researchers distributed a 49-question survey to 926 members of the Association of University Radiologists in October 2020. The questionnaire addressed factors such as demographics, workplace changes, stress levels and personal experience with illness, time spent on domestic obligations, and perceptions of productivity during the pandemic.

Plaunova and colleagues received 96 responses from participants in 30 U.S. states; of these, 53.1% were male and 46.9% female. Survey findings included the following:

  • Women spent more time on unpaid domestic duties than men prior to COVID-19, with men spending a median of five to 10 hours per week and women spending a median of 10 to 15 hours per week. During the pandemic onset, both genders reported that women did more of the home care.
  • Women with young children reported a significant decrease in work-from-home productivity compared with men with young children.
  • Men reported they had more time to be productive compared with women.

These findings could have ramifications going forward, according to the authors.

"The COVID-19 pandemic threatens to disrupt the advancement of women in radiology leadership roles by creating disparate effects on productivity due to increased workloads at home for women," they concluded. "This could potentially lead to decreases in promotions and research productivity in years to come that far outlast the acute phases of the pandemic."

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