Closing the gap: Increasing female representation in surgical leadership

Academic Article

Abstract

  • Background: Female medical students outnumber males with increasing representation in the workforce. However, women remain underrepresented in surgical leadership. Suggested reasons for this discrepancy are lack of female role models, mentorship, and gender discrimination. Thus, we set out to examine the change in leadership over time in our Department. Methods: Leadership data was gathered from a Department of Surgery in 2016 and 2020. Demographics including gender, age, and leadership position were compared using chi-squared testing. Results: Female representation in leadership roles increased from 2016 to 2020 at each professor rank(professor 0–100%, p < .001; associate professor 25–90%, p < .001, and assistant professor 7–71%, p < .001). In 2020, there were more female faculty(19.8 vs 26.4%, p = .270). Conclusions: Female leadership in the Department has increased since 2016. Promoting females to leadership roles provides role models for upcoming female surgeons. Resources should be allocated to promote gender equity in surgical leadership.
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    Author List

  • Rakestraw SL; Chen H; Corey B; Sutzko DC