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World J Surg. 2013 Jan;37(1):2-11. doi: 10.1007/s00268-012-1784-9.

The attitude and perceptions of work-life balance: a comparison among women surgeons in Japan, USA, and Hong Kong China.

Author information

1
Department of Surgery, The Jikei University School of Medicine, 3-25-8, Nishi-Shimbashi, Minato-ku, Tokyo 105-8461, Japan. kawasekazumi@hotmail.com

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The objective of the present study was to explore how women surgeons manage their work-life balance in three environmental and cultural settings.

METHOD:

Members of the Japan Association of Women Surgeons (JAWS), the United States of America (US) based Association of Women Surgeons (AWS), and the Women's Chapter of the College of Surgeons of Hong Kong (WCHK) were surveyed.

RESULTS:

Among 822 women surgeons contacted, 252 responded (response rate 31.8 %; 55.5 % JAWS, 28.2 % AWS, and 25.3 % WCHK). Japanese women surgeons think that work is the number one priority, whereas US and Hong Kong China (HK) respondents think the number one priority is home life. Work satisfaction level was generally high among women surgeons in all countries; however, 19 % of US surgeons are somewhat dissatisfied with their work and 76.1 % think that men are treated more favorably than women at work. Whereas 51.6 % of Japanese women surgeons think that men are treated more favorably than women at home, at the same time they placed more importance on the role of women in the family. More than half of Japanese women surgeons are "uncertain" about their career path in the future, whereas 55.2/87.1 % of US/HK respondents are optimistic. All surgeons recommended expanding support for child rearing or nursing care during work hours, promoting a flexible work schedule and changing some of the older conventional ideas about gender role.

CONCLUSIONS:

It is essential to address women surgeons' concerns to enable them to have a clearer vision and a challenging career, and to be more certain about their personal and professional goals.

PMID:
22955955
DOI:
10.1007/s00268-012-1784-9
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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