Perceptions of gender bias among members of the American Association of Bovine Practitioners in bovine practice in the United States in 2018
Keywords:gender bias, veterinary practice, recent graduates
The objective of this study was to gather perceptions of gender bias and the factors that influence gender bias in bovine veterinary practice. A web-based survey regarding perceptions related to gender bias encountered in clinical practice settings was made available electronically to the members of the American Association of Bovine Practitio-ners. There were 207 survey respondents (99 women and 108 men), and the population was closely split between those graduating in 2000 or before (48.8%) and those graduating in 2001 or after (51.2%). Survey responses about those experiencing client or employer-generated gender bias in their current practice, and in the first year of practice, were categorized to binary (yes/no) from ordinal responses (0-10 scales). Logistic models were utilized to analyze potential associations between perceptions of client or employer-generated gender bias with relevant respondent factors including gender, year of graduation (categorized as <1990, 1990-2000, 2001-2010, 2011-2017), pre-college community size (categorized as <1,000-5,000, 5,001-50,000, >50,000), post-college community size (cat-egorized as <1,000-5,000, 5,001-50,000, >50,000), food animal background (yes/no), practice activities (categorized as Exclusively Beef/Dairy; Mixed Practice, mostly beef/dairy, Mixed Practice, no beef/dairy), and if the respondent was the first of their gender in the practice (yes/no). Women graduating before 1990 were less likely to observe current client gender bias than those graduating in 2011-2017. Men were more similar throughout with those graduating before 1990 seeing slightly less current client gender bias than those graduating in 2011-2017. Graduation year was associated with increased risk of client gender bias over time, with those graduating before 1990 experiencing less client gender bias in the first year of practice than those graduating in 2011-2017. Women observed more client gender bias in the first year of practice compared to men. There were no significant associations with employer gender bias in their current practice, but employer gender bias in the first year of practice was found to be significantly associated with respondent gender. Men were roughly half as likely to observe employer gender bias in the first year of practice compared to women. Gender and graduation year were significantly associated with client and employer gender bias encountered in the current practice and in the first year of practice. The results support the conclusion that gender bias is encountered by our veterinary colleagues, with more bias perceived by more recently graduated women.