There is a specific lack of data on equity and injustices among colorectal surgeons regarding diversity. This study aimed to explore colorectal surgeon’s lived experience of diversity bias with a specific focus on gender, sexual orientation or gender identity and race or religion. A bespoke questionnaire was designed and disseminated to colorectal surgeons and trainees through specialty association mailing lists and social media channels. Quantitative and qualitative data points were analysed. 306 colorectal surgeons responded globally. 58.8% (n = 180) identified as male and 40.5% (n = 124) as female. 19% were residents/registrars. 39.2% stated that they had personally experienced or witnessed gender inequality in their current workplace, 4.9% because of sexual orientation, and 7.5% due to their race or religion. Sexist jokes, pregnancy-related comments, homophobic comments, liberal use of offensive terms and disparaging comments and stereotypical jokes were commonly experienced. 44.4% (n = 135) did not believe their institution of employer guaranteed an environment of respect for diversity and only 20% were aware of society guidelines on equality and diversity. Diversity bias is prevalent in colorectal surgery. It is necessary to work towards real equality and inclusivity and embrace diversity, both to promote equity among colleagues and provide better surgical care to patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1915-1923
Number of pages9
JournalUpdates in Surgery
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022


  • Colorectal surgery
  • Diversity
  • Gender
  • LGBTQ +
  • Race


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