Survey shows work needed to foster respect


The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists

27 November 2023

While the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists’ (RANZCOG’s) latest bullying, harassment and discrimination survey results indicate a drop in these behaviours in O&G workplaces, their incidence remains concerningly high.

41% of survey participants said that they had experienced bullying, harassment or discrimination by a professional colleague in the previous two years. This was a 21% decrease from the 62% reported in 2021, although the previous survey asked about experiences from any time in a person’s career.

While not a direct comparison, from a trending perspective, the 2023 results demonstrate that the prevalence of bullying, harassment and discrimination experienced by RANZCOG members and trainees has decreased.

When benchmarked against other medical colleges surveyed by BPA Analytics, the independent survey provider, the outcome is positive, with RANZCOG’s 2023 results benchmarking in the top quartile, with sexual harassment prevalence in the top decile.

RANZCOG President Dr Gillian Gibson acknowledged the results and affirmed that more work needed to be done.

‘While these are positive signs, the prevalence of bullying, harassment and discrimination in O&G is still too high. These behaviours not only cause suffering to the individual affected, they can also compromise patient care and undermine patient safety,’ Dr Gibson said.

‘We’ll be going through the data to see where we can improve our education and training, our advocacy and our direct support to members and trainees.’

Reporting rates show room for improvement, with fewer than half of those affected reporting bullying, discrimination or sexual harassment. Reasons for not reporting included fear of career impact and retaliation. For those who did report, resolution rates were very low for discrimination (3%), harassment (6%) and bullying (8%).

Dr Gibson acknowledged the more than 1,000 members and trainees who completed the survey.

‘We sincerely thank you for taking the time to respond to our survey. Your voices are essential to ensuring that RANZCOG supports and represents you most effectively,’ she said.

‘We remain committed to implementing our four-year Fostering Respect Action Plan and helping to build safe workplaces for all who work in O&G, which will maximise the quality of care our patients receive.’

Read the latest survey results.

Read RANZCOG’s 2023 Fostering Respect Action Plan Progress Report.

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