Gender and the Veterinary Profession: A Different Kind of Animal?

Lorna Treanor, Colette Henry, Sarah Baillie

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference Contribution (Conference Proceeding)


Objectives: This paper outlines the integration of women into the veterinary profession which is considered to be undergoing `feminization', as eighty percent of the undergraduate student population is now female and women vets in practice slightly outnumber their male colleagues (RCVS, 2010). Despite the numerical dominance of women within the veterinary profession, however, women have been found to remain significantly less likely to own their own business (RCVS, 2010); this phenomenon has not been explored or explained to date.

Prior Work: Marlow and Carter (2004) explored occupational segregation and women's self-employment within the `liberal professions' in the accountancy context, finding evidence of gender disadvantage that impacted upon women's business creation and performance relative to male counterparts. This paper reports initial findings of a similar study in the context of veterinary science.

Approach: The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS), the profession's governing body, undertook a `Survey of the Veterinary and Veterinary Nursing Professions' in 2010. This paper draws on the published findings of that report and, through RCVS facilitated access to the original dataset, explores further the gender dimensions within the data. This statistical analysis sets the context for further qualitative research but offers an interesting overview of the gender divisions present within this professional setting.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication34th Institute for Small Business & Entrepreneurship Annual Conference
Publication statusPublished - 10 Nov 2011

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