Sponsorship and negotiation for mid-career female otolaryngologists: a content analysis


This article was originally published here

Otolaryngol head and neck surgery. May 31, 2022: 1945998221102305. doi: 10.1177/01945998221102305. Online ahead of print.


OBJECTIVE: To explore the challenges and opportunities for supporting mid-career female otolaryngologists in the areas of negotiation and sponsorship.

STUDY DESIGN: Qualitative approach using semi-structured interviews.

SETTING: Online multi-institutional interviews.

METHODS: This study was conducted from June to August 2021. Female otolaryngologists representing various subspecialties, training, and practice settings were recruited via a criteria-based sampling approach. Semi-structured interviews were transcribed, coded and analyzed using an inductive-deductive approach to produce a thematic content analysis.

RESULTS: Of the 12 women interviewed, who represented 7 subspecialties, the majority were Caucasian (58%) and in academic practice (50%). The median year of residency graduation was 2002 (range, 1982-2013). Participants expressed several challenges women otolaryngologists face when it comes to negotiation, including a lack of systematic formal negotiation training, gendered expectations that women experience during negotiations, and a perceived lack of power in the negotiations. Barriers to effective sponsorship included the difficulty of identifying sponsors and the influence of gender and related systemic biases that hindered sponsorship opportunities.

CONCLUSION: Notable gender disparities exist for mid-career negotiation and sponsorship for female otolaryngologists. Women are initially disadvantaged due to a lack of negotiation training and access to sponsors, which is exacerbated by systemic gender biases and power differentials as women progress in their careers. This study highlights opportunities to improve bargaining and mentorship for women, with the goal of promoting a more diverse workforce.

PMID:35639485 | DOI: 10.1177/01945998221102305

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Jenny T. Curlee