We talk a lot about the ability or inability to speak out as crucial for a safety culture. However we rarely talk about this in terms of gender. We think we have an increasing equality but it still falls short of ideal. This can have a profound effect on safety.
Across the many cultures world wide women find it really hard to speak out. Often only giving an opinion if asked.
I don’t have a solution to this dilemma but I do think it is worth some serious consideration. Gender and the impact on patient safety should be openly acknowledged rather than lurking beneath the surface.
There is so much fear that speaking up will make the situation worse or be inappropriate or go unheard. All of us, men and women have a role to play. Women need encouragement and respect from both men and other women. We need to act as a cohesive group, working together for a common purpose.
Let’s talk about it.