The highest-paid senior doctors in the Falkirk district are predominantly men, research has revealed.
Freedom of Information figures obtained by the BBC show just two out of ten of NHS Forth Valley’s top-earning consultants are women.
The data also revealed just 15 out of 100 senior medics across Scotland’s health boards are women.
Only two NHS boards — NHS Highland and NHS Shetland — have as many as three women among their highest earners.
The British Medical Association said the medical workforce was almost equal in gender numbers but that women remain under-represented in senior roles.
The data also showed a differential in average basic pay, with men earning around £93,790, up to four per cent more than women.
However, this increased to almost 20 per cent when overtime and bonuses were factored in.
A spokeswoman for NHS Forth Valley said: “Male and female consultants are paid exactly the same grades in line with nationally agreed terms and conditions and any difference in pay is normally due to working additional sessions.”
Dr Vanessa Mackay, a consultant in obstetrics and gynaecology, said some of the reason for fewer women being in senior leadership positions could be put down to the fact that traditionally more men were doctors.
She said: “If that is the simple reason then we should see a rapid decline in the gender pay gap with some specialties quoting between 30 per cent and 60 per cent female staff on the middle grade, just down from consultant level.
“Some of the difference might be down to male consultants working longer hours and doing overtime but definitely women are not well-represented at senior leadership level.
“Perhaps women are not being given the same opportunities to apply for these jobs. Maybe no-one is advising them or encouraging them.”
Dr Mackay added: “Maybe women do need a little bit more leadership training and mentoring so they do feel empowered to apply for them.
“Maybe we need to change the senior positions and design them better. I think that’s something the NHS needs to think about now.”