Women represent approximately half of students entering medical schools and more than half of those entering PhD programs. When advancing through the academic and professional fields, however, women continually face barriers that men do not. In this Commentary, the authors offer ideas for coordinating the efforts of organizations, academic institutions, and leaders throughout the scientific and medical professions to reduce barriers that result in inequities and, instead, strive for gender parity. Specific areas of focus outlined by the authors include facilitating women’s access to formal and informal professional networks, acknowledging and addressing the gender pay gap as well as the lack of research funding awarded to women in the field, and updating workplace policies that have not evolved to accommodate women’s lifestyles. As academic institutions seek access to top talent and the means to develop those individuals capable of generating the change medicine and science needs, the authors urge leaders and change agents within academic medicine to address the systemic barriers to gender equity that impede us from achieving the mission to improve the health of all.
C. Bates is associate dean for faculty affairs and associate professor of medicine, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts.
L.K. Gordon is senior associate dean, Diversity Affairs, and professor of ophthalmology, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Los Angeles, California.
E. Travis is associate vice president, Women and Minority Faculty Inclusion, and professor, Department of Experimental Radiation Oncology, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas.
A. Chatterjee is professor and chair, Department of Pediatrics, and senior associate dean for faculty development, University of South Dakota Sanford School of Medicine, Vermillion, South Dakota.
L. Chaudron is associate vice president and senior associate dean for inclusion and culture development, and professor of psychiatry, University of Rochester Medical Center and University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, Rochester, New York.
B. Fivush is associate dean for women in science and medicine and professor of pediatrics, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland.
M. Gulati is professor of medicine and chief of cardiology, University of Arizona, Phoenix, Arizona.
R. Jagsi is associate professor and deputy chair, Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor, Michigan.
P. Sharma is professor and chair, Department of Pathology, Creighton University School of Medicine and CHI Health, Omaha, Nebraska.
M. Gillis is professor, chief of division, and director of faculty advancement, Department of Humanities, Health, and Society, Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine, Florida International University, Miami, Florida.
R. Ganetzky is clinical biochemical genetics fellow, Division of Human Genetics, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
A. Grover is associate professor of surgery, Surgical Oncology, VCU Health, Richmond, Virginia.
D. Lautenberger is director, Women in Medicine and Science, Association of American Medical Colleges, Washington, DC.
A. Moses is program specialist, Women in Medicine and Science, Association of American Medical Colleges, Washington, DC.
Funding/Support: None reported.
Other disclosures: None reported.
Ethical approval: Reported as not applicable.
Correspondence should be addressed to Diana Lautenberger, Association of American Medical Colleges, 655 K St., NW, Ste. 100, Washington, DC 20001; telephone: (202) 828-0647; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.