Identifying Gender Disparities and Barriers to Measuring the Status of Female Faculty: The Experience of a Large School of Medicine

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Background: Women in academic medicine are not attaining parity with men in several domains. This issue is not only one of fairness; some funding agencies are requesting data on gender benchmarking. However, most published reports on gender disparities have not included examination of trends or actionable recommendations to address them. Materials and Methods: The Dean of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine charged the Committee on the Status of Women (CSW) with conducting a comprehensive review of gender equity. In 2014, the CSW identified key domains important for academic success and created a sustainable framework to monitor trends by gender. Utilizing data from multiple key sources, the CSW measured differences in the domains of academic promotion, leadership, and satisfaction. Results: Gender differences were present in each domain. Data were not centralized and not readily available for most domains. The CSW recommended strategies to address gender disparities and created a set of measurable recommendations to monitor progress. The recommendations include requiring detailed descriptions of departmental organizational leadership charts; diverse compositions of both search committees and applicant pools; increased proportion of female faculty in top-tier leadership positions; and transparent departmental promotions criteria and processes. Conclusions: To maintain progress, we recommend that data be readily and easily accessible from a central institutional registry rather than come from multiple sources, that data be analyzed on a regular basis, and that results be shared across the institution to ensure transparency and accountability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1569-1575
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Women's Health
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2019


  • academic medicine
  • faculty satisfaction
  • gender disparity
  • gender inequity
  • leadership
  • promotion
  • women's status

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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