The Picture's Bright for Women's Leadership in Medicine, Survey Finds

Gina Shaw, MA

Disclosures

September 17, 2015

In This Article

Top Challenges

Time pressures and work-life balance were ranked as the top challenges experienced by women in leadership roles, as well as the top challenges anticipated by women not yet in leadership. But while a similar percentage of women leaders and non-leaders ranked time pressure highly (69% and 64%, respectively), only 44% of women leaders saw work getting in the way of their personal lives as a significant challenge, compared with 62% of non-leaders who expected that to be a major issue.

Gender bias and political infighting appeared to be far less troublesome for current women leaders than women not yet in leadership positions expect them to be. Only 35% of women leaders rank political infighting as a significant challenge, and even fewer—24%—list gender bias as a challenge in their leadership. In contrast, 55% of non-leaders expect political infighting to be a challenge in leadership and 40% anticipate difficulties with gender bias.

That surprised Lautenberger. "In many other industries, reports of discrimination and gender bias against women range from 50% up to 90%, so this is unusual," she says. "But women in medicine may not necessarily always know that they're being discriminated against. It can often fly under the radar." She added that the AAMC is working on helping physicians and scientists identify their unconscious bias through a number of trainings.

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