Women GPs interviewed in the study agree that there is a lack of recognition and remuneration for teaching, which can deter them from taking on supervision roles. This included non-practice owners being left out of business decisions related to supervision, such as recognition and payment of supervisors. Commonly, women contributed to GP supervision in informal ways without pay or recognition. The quality of women GP Supervisors was seen as high, and they were often seen as more available and approachable. There was seen to be a gendered substructure within practice supervision, where women supervise around explicit and implicit rules according to their gender and position.
Knowledge about supervision roles and payments for supervision should be more clearly communicated to women, as well as how to get involved and supports available such as the peak body. Practice supervision policies should require consultation with women GPs for inclusion in supervision, document supervision roles and activities available for remuneration. Policies should also be extended to enable women to enter and re-enter supervision roles across their career span
For Women GP supervisors who are more often covering
To break through stereotypes and support women GP Supervisors, respondents felt that better acknowledgement of the valued contribution of women GP supervisors, and more woman-specific mentorship networks for supervision are needed. Promoting team-based supervision where women GPs have a clear role and can make a quality contribution through a shared commitment will also assist in this change.
This research expands understanding of the lived experience of Australian women GP supervisors as they navigate taking up and managing supervision roles. The research points to story arcs which were about power and control, pay, time, other life commitments, quality of supervision, and supervisor identity. These represent significant issues that intersect to potentially impact the interest and capacity for women to join and be retained in the GP supervision workforce. The findings can be applied to developing more specific resources, supports, and structures to enable women to participate in and sustain GP supervision at the level that they find acceptable and rewarding.