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Challenges faced by female healthcare professionals in the workforce: A scoping review

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journal contribution
posted on 05.10.2021, 23:25 by A Mohammed Alobaid, CM Gosling, E Khasawneh, Lisa McKennaLisa McKenna, B Williams
Background: The number of women entering the medical and healthcare workforce globally has increased in the past several decades. Women have many roles and positions in healthcare organizations, hospitals and healthcare education settings. Although there has been an increase in the number of women, female workers continue to face many workplace challenges. This scoping review aimed to explore the challenges female healthcare professionals face in the workforce. Methods: A scoping review utilizing Arksey and O’Malley’s six-step framework was undertaken to identify and map available literature addressing challenges faced by female healthcare professionals in the workforce. The databases searched included Embase, EmCare, Medline, Cumulative Index of Nursing and Allied Health Literature (CINAHL) and Business Source Complete (BSC). Additional searches were performed using Google Scholar, Trove and grey literature. Results: The initial search yielded 2455 publications (Medline n=369; EmCare n=276; Embase n=612; CINAHL n=1088; Business Source Complete n=109; mixed grey literature n=1). After removal of duplicates, 1782 citations remained. Abstract and title screening reduced the field to 36 publications, following which full-text reviews were conducted. Consensus was reached on 16 publications for final review. After analyzing the articles, three themes were identified: i) family responsibilities, ii) workplace environment and iii) stereotyping. Conclusion: Findings confirm that female healthcare professionals face circumstances that may affect their family lives, as well as factors relating to the workplace environment and stereotypes. Implementing strategies such as reduced work hours, flexible timing and part-time work can support women in the workplace, which then enhances and supports gender equality in healthcare organizations.


Publication Date



Journal of Multidisciplinary Healthcare




11p. (p. 681-691)


Dove Press



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