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sheMD Journal Club

What's Holding Women in Medicine

Back from Leadership


This Harvard Business review article, entitled, What’s Holding Women in Medicine Back from Leadership looks at  gender disparities in positions of leadership in medicine.  For example, "women account for only 18% of hospital CEOs and 16% of all deans and department chairs in the U.S."  This is despite the fact that women have been comprising at least 40% of medical school matriculants for the last two decades!         


Why do we see this gender disparity in leadership? According to the article, there are multiple reasons including implicit gender bias, maternal bias (aka the Maternal Wall), system-wide policies that disadvantage women, and sexual harassment.  


Our favorite part about this article, is that it goes deeper than just describing the problem.  It actually suggests solutions, such as instituting family friendly policies, implicit bias training, annual salary reviews, and creating programs to increase the mentorship of women.                                          


 One of our authors, Dr. Pamela Mehta, wrote a blog post in response to this article, in which she discusses the question - if we as women don’t have a seat at the table, how can we advocate and bring awareness to the gender disparity in medicine and the workplace in general?          

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