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Abstract

Purpose: Although gender disparities and workplace vitality for women has been studied in athletic training, gender discrimination has not been widely studied. The purpose of this study was to describe gender-based aggressions experienced by women athletic trainers (ATs) within their educational and workplace environments. Methods: We used a cross-sectional design, and the web-based survey was comprised of demographic questions, the Schedule of Sexism Events (SSE), and questions on incident reporting. The SSE asks participant to rank items on a Likert Scale (1 = the event never happened to 6 = the event happens almost all the time). Items within the SSE are contextualized to either events in the past year or events in their entire life. The survey was distributed to 5,667 women ATs through the National Athletic Training Association (NATA). Five hundred thirty-nine (539) participants accessed the survey (9.5%). Four hundred seventy-eight (478) participants (age=34.2±8.6y [range=23–66y], experience=11.0±8.2y [range=0-40y]) completed the entire instrument (88.6%). We used descriptive statistics to analyze demographic variables, gender-based education- and work- related items of the SSE and incident reporting. Results: When asked about unfair treatment while interacting with teachers, professors, or engaging in academics in their lifetime, 89% (n=425) of participants indicated they had experienced unfair treatment. Comparatively, 53% (n=252) of participants experienced unfair treatment from teachers, or professors, or while engaging in academics in the last year. When asked about unfair treatment by an employer, boss, or supervisor, 88% (n=421) of participants experienced unfair treatment in their lifetime, where 55% (n=267) have experienced unfair treatment in the past year. Ninety percent (90%, n=430) indicated they experienced unfair treatment by co-workers, fellow students, or colleagues, in their lifetime compared to 61% (n=292) in the past year. When asked if they had experienced gender-based macroaggressions and microaggressions in the workplace, 41% (n=198) experienced both types of aggressions; 5% (n=22) experienced macroaggressions and 29% (n=137) experienced microaggressions. Only 25% (n=119) of participants have reported aggressions in the workplace. Conclusion: Women ATs experience gender-based aggressions in the workplace but they do not typically report these aggressions. All ATs have the responsibility to work towards an inclusive, equitable, and welcoming workplace that directly addresses aggressions.

Author Bio(s)

Kara L. Trella, MAT, LAT, ATC is an athletic trainer in a secondary school in Indiana. She is currently completing her Doctorate in Athletic Training degree at Indiana State University in Terre Haute, Indiana.

Kenneth E. Games, PhD, LAT, ATC is a professor and director of clinical education in the Doctor of Athletic Training program at Indiana State University.

Justin P. Young, DAT, LAT, ATC is a doctoral graduate assistant for the Doctor of Athletic Training program at Indiana State University and is currently completing his PhD in Teaching and Learning at Indiana State University.

Matthew J. Drescher, DAT, LAT, ATC is a doctoral graduate assistant for the Doctor of Athletic Training program at Indiana State University and is currently completing his PhD in Teaching and Learning at Indiana State University.

Lindsey E. Eberman, PhD, LAT, ATC is a professor and program director in the Doctor of Athletic Training program at Indiana State University.

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