Just 5% Of People Assume Doctors Are Women, Despite Them Making Up 44% Of Workforce

Jobs associated with women include receptionists, cleaners and nursery teachers.

Would you be surprised if you booked a GP appointment and your doctor was a woman? If not, you’re in the minority.

Only 5% of adults assume a doctor is a woman, according to a survey of 4,000 people, despite the fact 44% of fully-licensed UK doctors are female. Among over 55s, just 2% assume doctors are women.

The research, from LinkedIn, found the jobs we’re most likely to associate with women include receptionists, nursery teachers, nurses and cleaners – whereas we assume builders, plumbers, electricians and farmers are men.

“I’ve often had people assume that I’m a man when I go by my professional title,” said NHS GP Dr Natasha Larmie, who added that the research is “no surprise” to her. “It’s frustrating that so many of us still have these ingrained assumptions at a time when there are a large number of female doctors working in the UK.”

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Dr Larmie added: “That being said, women are still not well represented at the top of our profession, which may explain why people assume that most doctors are men.”

Overall, one in 10 women from the survey said they’ve experienced someone expressing surprise at their career due to their gender.

The data suggests we associate traditional job titles, such as dentist or nurse, with one gender or the other, whereas there is less of a discrepancy when it comes to more modern job titles, such as SEO specialist or social media manager. For instance, 63% of Brits surveyed would assume a nurse is a woman, whereas 77% said they would not associate any gender with SEO specialist.

According to the research, the top 10 jobs we are most likely to associate as being male and female are as follows:


The research also identified that assumptions are made about industries, as well as specific job titles – 42% of respondents assume that IT and telecoms is a male industry, compared to just 4% associating it with women.

The same is true of business consulting and management (29% associated this with men, compared to 6% with women), as well as finance and insurance (32% men compared to 6% women).

Media and journalism had a more even split, with 17% of respondents viewing it as a male industry compared to 10% seeing it as female (the rest saw it as neither). Despite this more balanced view, the data showed that more than one in four of us (26%) still associate journalists with being men, more than double the number that associate the job role with women.

According to the research, the top 10 industries we are most likely to associate as being male or female are: