Why sexism in the veterinary industry is downright ridiculous!

Warning: Rant ahead! I have thought long and hard before publishing this post - I decided in the end, that whilst I'll be opening myself up to scrutiny I feel that it needs to be expressed - expressed like a big pimple on my ass!

Why sexism in the veterinary industry is downright ridiculous!


Now I believe that sexism is wrong, in every single industry. However, being in a female dominated industry makes sexism even more insane. With over 90% of veterinary graduates being female I’m putting all of those archaic sexist bosses on notice. You are either going to need to learn that us females know what we are doing and what we can do or you’re going to sink. Sink into a hole where you are limited by your own ignorance.

It’s time that those “Old School” bosses start to evolve. Now, statistically you are not going to have the best management staff if you limit yourself to less than 10% of the pool of veterinarians. We all know that us veterinarians are not the best managers, we’re getting better and more educated but let’s face it - often it is not our Main Priority.

So, what would I like to see change?

  1. More female veterinarians in management roles – I don’t know statistics but I’m sure that not 90% of veterinarians in management roles are female!
  2. Bosses to be open to job sharing even at the people management level
  3. For business owners to stop judging me based on my ability to reproduce and the fact that I sport a vagina in my underwear
  4. Accept that working mothers have challenges that they face but in my experience they make better use of their time as they want to get home to their families.
  5. Be flexible with your staff, your parents were parents once so why torture your staff when their child is sick, if there was another way generally they would have found it. Kids get sick, so do adults. Shit happens.
  6. Trust our judgement – just because I pushed two babies out through my fanny doesn’t mean that I gave birth to common sense and the ability to make good business decisions.
  7. Emotions and empathy are not the enemy. I am yet to meet a client that has wished me to be more cold and heartless towards their pet – and if I did I’d probably tell them where to go…
  8. Just because I don’t like golf or Scotch doesn’t mean that I can’t compete in management circles. I’ve got other ways to piss higher up the wall than you… so what if they require a step ladder…
  9. We may be tiny (or not) but I guarantee we are fierce and no walk over when it comes to sexist clients who think they can bully us. You found this silly little females red button!
  10. Take us seriously! We can give birth, love our families with boundless energy and WORK and WANT rewarding careers. Now not all women want management roles, just as not all men want management roles. But one thing is for sure – we should not be held back by our vaginas (seriously, it hurts, in more than one way…)

Righteo, I better go back to getting my mani-pedi, then pop off to the hair salon to have my highlights redone and then I’ll be ready to make my husband’s dinner and hang off his every word… YEAH RIGHT!

Disclaimer: All views are my own & not directly related to any past, current or future employment.

Dr Belinda

7 Responses

  1. I can’t really judge the state of matters from your perspective but I can tell you that I don’t care if my vet is a female or a male. I just care that my veterinarian is a great veterinarian.

    • And that is what I wish some business owners would understand. I face very little sexism from my clients. Thank you for proving my point – vets are judged on their ability to do their job, not their sex.

  2. Wow, good for you.

    I’m sorry your professional experiences have included rampant prejudice.

    I agree with Jana that I want the best care for my pet (and a well-run practice is part of that). But I’ve gone to female-owned vet clinics for the past 15 years and gotten exemplary care for my dogs. And the practices have been very well-managed.

    I’m one of those rare people who marvels at how inexpensive good vet care is compared to human medicine. Yes, that $3000 US removal of a squeaker from my 6 month old puppy was a lot of money to us. But compared to a comparable surgery on a human, it was dirt cheap.

    I worry that being a female-dominated profession, veterinary medicine will not pay enough, as is common for other female-dominated jobs. How do we expect vets to grow their practices if they can’t even afford to pay off their student loans?

    • Thanks Pamela! I was very fortunate to work for a smart and strong female vet in my early career who proved to me that it was possible to be a woman and run a very successful business. I must admit that my clients have never had a problem with me being a female, I have faced sexism however in other aspects of my career which is very disappointing.

  3. DJ

    Does your husband take his turn to take a sickie when your child is sick or as is my experience I am the only one carrying the load? The child is not on my payroll.

    • Hi DJ. Fortunately my husband and I take turns in taking the day off if our children are sick. It might not be 50:50 but it’s very close. I’ll even ask my mum and sister to help out where they can. If I have to be home during the day with the kids then I’ll ask my mum to take them in the afternoon so that I can make it back to the clinic for afternoon consults. Working with quite a few mum’s we tend to look out for each other and cover for each other where we can – we know we’ll repay the favour at some stage. I actually have more problems with other staff members having sick days that I do those with kids taking time off.

      • DJ

        Would you like to be on my payroll?

Leave a Reply to DJ