In 2008, the “Women in academic Medicine - Developing equality and management for career progression” report outlined the reasons why women in medicine are underrepresented in the University sector, particularly at professorial levels.
Following a series of focus groups, a number of issues mirroring those found in the 2008 report were identified in the college. In response, the Women in Academic Medicine (WAM) committee was established in 2009 to address issues concerning gender imbalance and to support women in academic medicine. In December 2011 the WAM committee expanded to incorporate women in science and became WAMS.
Concerns that were raised include:
- Many women aspired to reach a senior level such as professor, but still felt that progression was difficult when starting a family as they struggle with achieving a good work/life balance.
- Little if any support was received on return to work after maternity leave.
- The mentoring scheme was still not reaching many who expressed interest, although those that did engage with a mentor found the support invaluable.
- Most women felt it was impossible to work part-time due to work load.
- There was a culture of early morning meetings
- There was still some lack of awareness of WAMS events
- There was a reluctance to ask for part time working as women felt it was perceived by men as not being committed to their job. .