To determine the role of race and gender in the career experience of Black/AA academic surgeons and to quantify the prevalence of experience with racial and gender bias stratified by gender.
Summary of Background Data:
Compared to their male counterparts, Black/African American women remain significantly underrepresented among senior surgical faculty and department leadership. The impact of racial and gender bias on the academic and professional trajectory of Black/AA women surgeons has not been well-studied.
A cross-sectional survey regarding demographics, employment, and perceived barriers to career advancement was distributed via email to faculty surgeon members of the Society of Black American Surgeons (SBAS) in September 2019.
Of 181 faculty members, 53 responded (29%), including 31 women (58%) and 22 men (42%). Academic positions as a first job were common (men 95% vs women 77%, P = 0.06). Men were more likely to attain the rank of full professor (men 41% vs women 7%, P = 0.01). Reports of racial bias in the workplace were similar (women 84% vs men 86%, not significant); however, reports of gender bias (women 97% vs men 27%, P < 0.001) and perception of salary inequities (women 89% vs 63%, P = 0.02) were more common among women.
Conclusions and Relevance:
Despite efforts to increase diversity, high rates of racial bias persist in the workplace. Black/AA women also report experiencing a high rate of gender bias and challenges in academic promotion.