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The Gender Gap in Academic Medicine: Comparing Results From a Multifaceted Intervention for Stanford Faculty to Peer and National Cohorts

Valantine, Hannah A. MD; Grewal, Daisy PhD; Ku, Manwai Candy PhD; Moseley, Julie PhD; Shih, Mei-Chiung PhD; Stevenson, David MD; Pizzo, Philip A. MD

doi: 10.1097/ACM.0000000000000245
Research Reports

Purpose: To assess whether the proportion of women faculty, especially at the full professor rank, increased from 2004 to 2010 at Stanford University School of Medicine after a multifaceted intervention.

Method: The authors surveyed gender composition and faculty satisfaction five to seven years after initiating a multifaceted intervention to expand recruitment and development of women faculty. The authors assessed pre/post relative change and rates of increase in women faculty at each rank, and faculty satisfaction; and differences in pre/post change and estimated rate of increase between Stanford and comparator cohorts (nationally and at peer institutions).

Results: Post intervention, women faculty increased by 74% (234 to 408), with assistant, associate, and full professors increasing by 66% (108 to 179), 87% (74 to 138), and 75% (52 to 91), respectively. Nationally and at peer institutions, women faculty increased by about 30% (30,230 to 39,200 and 4,370 to 5,754, respectively), with lower percentages at each rank compared with Stanford. Estimated difference (95% CI) in annual rate of increase was larger for Stanford versus the national cohort: combined ranks 0.36 (0.17 to 0.56), P = .001; full professor 0.40 (0.18 to 0.62), P = .001; and versus the peer cohort: combined ranks 0.29 (0.07 to 0.51), P = .02; full professor 0.37 (0.14 to 0.60), P = .003. Stanford women faculty satisfaction increased from 48% (2003) to 71% (2008).

Conclusions: Increased satisfaction and proportion of women faculty, especially full professors, suggest that the intervention may ameliorate the gender gap in academic medicine.

Dr. Valantine is professor of medicine and senior associate dean for diversity and leadership, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, California.

Dr. Grewal is associate director, Office of Diversity and Leadership, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, California.

Dr. Ku is program director and senior research scientist, Office of Diversity and Leadership, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, California.

Dr. Moseley is director of organizational effectiveness, Office of Diversity and Leadership, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, California.

Dr. Shih is assistant professor of biostatistics, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, California.

Dr. Stevenson is vice dean and senior associate dean for academic affairs, Harold K. Faber Professor of Pediatrics, and professor, by courtesy, of obstetrics and gynecology, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, California.

Dr. Pizzo is David and Susan Heckerman Professor of Pediatrics and of Microbiology and Immunology and former dean of the School of Medicine, Stanford University, Stanford, California.

Funding/Support: This study was funded in part by grants from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Hannah Valantine, Daisy Grewal, and Manwai Candy Ku are supported by the NIH Director’s Pathfinder Award (1DP4GM096849-01) and by the Stanford Center for Clinical and Translational Education and Research: 1UL1 RR025744-01. David Stevenson is supported by Stanford Center for Clinical and Translational Education and Research: 1UL1 RR025744-01.

Other disclosures: None reported.

Ethical approval: The Stanford University institutional review board approved both surveys and exempted IRB approval for this study.

Correspondence should be addressed to Dr. Valantine, Office of the Dean, 291 Campus Dr., Room LK3C02, Stanford, CA 94305-5101; telephone: (650) 736-1483; fax: (650) 725-7368; e-mail: hvalantine@stanford.edu.

© 2014 by the Association of American Medical Colleges