The everyday sexism experiences of female paramedics in Australia

Research output: Other contribution to conferencePresentation onlypeer-review



Introduction: Allegations have been made that female paramedics have been subject to sexism in the workplace. This study investigates everyday sexism as experienced by female paramedics. Everyday sexism is defined as sexism that occurs in everyday interactions. It presents itself in the form of gender stereotyping, derogatory or demeaning commentary, discriminatory or unfair treatment on the basis of gender, or as sexist or sexually objectifying language.


1. To understand female paramedics’ experiences of everyday sexism in the workplace

2. To contribute to the body of knowledge regarding the gendered nature of paramedic culture and its impact on female paramedics.

3. To contribute to paramedic employer understanding of the impact of the experience of everyday sexism on well-being, job performance, and the career trajectory of female paramedics.

Qualitative Study.

Female paramedic participants were recruited from ambulance services around Australia. Semi-structured, one-on-one interviews were undertaken via an online platform. Braun and Clarke's structured six-stage framework of thematic analysis was used to analyse the data.


Although the sample size is small and results therefore not generalisable to the paramedic population, this study found that female paramedics from a range of ambulance services around Australia had common experiences of sexism in the workplace regardless of state, ambulance service, rural or metropolitan station of work, years of experience, age, sexuality, or current rank. These common experiences included:-

Everyday Sexism
Gender Normative Behaviour and Expectations
Gender Discrimination and Sexual Harassment
Adaptation to Clinical Practice
Hierarchical Practices
Female Visibility

Conclusion: This research has provided further evidence to support the claims of some female paramedics that they have experienced everyday sexism and gender discrimination in the workplace. This has had an effect on not only the way they practice and undertake patient care but has also negatively impacted their career progression and personal well-being.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 25 Nov 2021
EventAustralasian College of Paramedicine International Conference (ACPIC) 2021 - Online, and Hobart and Sunshine Coast, Australia
Duration: 25 Nov 202126 Nov 2021 (Conference website)


ConferenceAustralasian College of Paramedicine International Conference (ACPIC) 2021
OtherACPIC 2021 will be delivered as a hybrid event with the following format:

Day one - Thursday 25 November

Delivered online. Attendees can view the live stream through the College’s interactive conference platform.

Day two - Friday 26 November

Face-to-face events will take place in the following locations:

Sunshine Coast
The face-to-face locations will have a mixture of streamed and in-person presentations, will include networking breaks and will be followed by social drinks after the conference. Live stream from other locations will be available in break out rooms at the face-to-face locations allowing attendees to select which stream they would like to view.

The online format will live stream presentations from all face-to-face locations, allowing online attendees to select which stream they would like to view.
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