Characterizing the Impact of Women in Academic IR: A 12-Year Analysis
Historically, there has been a relative paucity of women in IR. A 2016 study demonstrated that only 15.4% of IR fellows and 7.3% of IR faculty were women. This disparity has led to inequalities in physician compensation, promotion, recruitment of female trainees and lack of female involvement in research. This study aimed to evaluate if there are gender disparities in the field of IR based on analysis of grants and citation data in both JVIR and CVIR.
A total of 3,017 articles were evaluated from 2006 to 2017 in which the gender of the first and last authors could be verified. Of this, a mere 16% of first authors and 8.7% of senior authors were female. Only 1.3% of articles were written by female first and senior authors while the overwhelming majority (77%) were by male first and senior authors. The mean number of citations received by all reviewed articles was 4.3, without statistical significance between gender combinations for both citations and grants. Over the 12 years reviewed, the average number of citations by both female first (0.24 per year) and senior (0.16 per year) authors increased; the average number of grants for female senior authors also increased by 0.88 per year.
While other specialties have demonstrated that men are viewed higher than women in regards to grade and compensation despite identical work, this article demonstrates that IR treats women equally. Female first and senior authorship are proportionally represented based on the number of women in the field, with women being equally productive as men based on metrics of number of publications, citations and grants.
Figure 1. Authorship by gender in the Journal of Vascular and Interventional Radiology and CardioVascular and Interventional Radiology. (a) Number and percentage of articles written by each gender. The predominance of male authors was more pronounced among senior authors than first authors (P < .01). (b) Number and percentage of articles written by each author gender combination. No difference was observed between expected and observed proportions of author gender combinations (P ¼ .99). *indicates P < .05.
While the proportion of women in IR can be intimidating, the data presented in this article is encouraging for females entering or currently in the field of IR. Many women cite gender disparity and the “glass ceiling” of academic medicine as reason to avoid male dominated specialties; this stance does not hold true in the field of IR. Not only are females proportionately represented in our literature, the trend of female authorship continues to increase, a promising result as the proportion of women entering the field continues to grow.
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Nicole A. Keefe, MD
Department of Radiology and Medical Imaging
University of Virginia