The Role Models who Sustain Medical Women’s Career Engagement | Womens Medical Federation Research Report

Who Do They Need to Be, and What Do They Need to Do?

In a study by leading Psychologists, Dr Kim Peters and Prof Michelle Ryan from the College of Life and Environmental Science at Exeter University, the team of researchers identified that role models can perform multiple functions, from inspiring women to supporting and encouraging them to achieve their potential as doctors. The findings also interestingly suggest that both men and women can make effective role models, although in some specific domains, such as managing family and work, women were seen as more useful.
The report details the results of the research project that investigated whether role models are able to improve women’s engagement in their medical career by challenging the belief that only individuals who match the stereotype can get ahead, increasing their perception that they fit in with successful medics, and their ambition to reach the top of their career path.
There have been few details about when (and why) role models work and what effective role modelling looks like. This research was designed to address this gap. This research further suggests that being an effective role model is not just about being inspirational; it is about taking the time to encourage and support those around us.

The practical implications of vital work that women doctors perform for the medical workforce of the future as part of their job role is shown in this report for organisations to be made aware of.

This report is the result of a recent collaborative multi-method project that aimed to shed light on the importance of role models for medical women at all stages of their careers and is a pioneering piece of research. MWF’s members participated in interviews and surveys, and we thank them for providing the material for this important piece of research.

MWF is passionate about helping women to achieve a successful combination of professional and family life, if that is their wish, and this research strengthens our conviction that most women benefit enormously from role models.

Report Download

Download the full report here

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