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Gender differences in gastroenterology and hepatology authorship and editorial boards

  • Author Footnotes
    ∗ Drs Leung and Jawaid contributed equally to this article.
    Kristel K. Leung
    Correspondence
    Reprint requests: Kristel Leung, Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Department of Medicine, University of Toronto, 200 Elizabeth St, Toronto M5G 2C4, Ontario, Canada.
    Footnotes
    ∗ Drs Leung and Jawaid contributed equally to this article.
    Affiliations
    Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Department of Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    Search for articles by this author
  • Author Footnotes
    ∗ Drs Leung and Jawaid contributed equally to this article.
    Noor Jawaid
    Footnotes
    ∗ Drs Leung and Jawaid contributed equally to this article.
    Affiliations
    Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Department of Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    Search for articles by this author
  • Natasha Bollegala
    Affiliations
    Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Department of Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

    Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Department of Medicine, Women’s College Hospital, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    Search for articles by this author
  • Author Footnotes
    ∗ Drs Leung and Jawaid contributed equally to this article.

      Background and Aims

      Women are numerically under-represented in the field of gastroenterology and hepatology. This study aims to characterize the gender distribution of first and senior authors and editorial board members across high impact factor journals in gastroenterology and hepatology.

      Methods

      Publications from January 1, 2019 to December 31, 2019 were reviewed from 29 journals. Gender of editorial board leadership, editorial board members, first, and senior authors was identified using publicly available data. Spearman correlation coefficients were calculated to assess for a relationship among editorial board, first author, and senior author gender and impact factor.

      Results

      Of 29 journals (median impact factor 5.55) with 357 journal issues and 8036 articles, there were 3 of 39 female chief editors (7.7%), 601 of 3455 female editorial board members (17.4%), 2547 of 8036 female first authors (31.7%), and 1390 of 7335 female senior authors (19%). No statistically significant correlations existed between impact factor and chief editor gender with gender distribution of editorial boards, first authors, or senior authors. Positive correlations existed between male-dominated editorial boards and male first (+.52, P = .005) and senior authorship (+.56, P = .002), whereas negative correlations occurred between male-dominated editorial boards and female first (–.51, P = .006) and senior authorship (–.56, P = .002). Positive correlations also existed between publication of first and senior authors of the same gender (+.57, men [P = .001]; +.58, women [P = .001]).

      Conclusions

      Although gender distribution of female first authorship approaches current distributions in the field of gastroenterology and hepatology, editor-in-chief positions, editorial board membership, and senior authorship continue to be primarily men. Future endeavors to improve proportionate gender representation include improved journal leadership selection transparency, targeted diversity statements, and enhanced mentorship.

      Graphical abstract

      Abbreviations:

      JCR (Journal Citation Report), STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics)
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      Linked Article

      • Gender parity in editorial boards and senior authorship: a long but hopeful road ahead
        Gastrointestinal EndoscopyVol. 94Issue 4
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          The focus on equity, diversity, and inclusion has been increasingly prominent over the past year. Medical societies and institutions are charged with assessing and improving practices to achieve gender equity and are publicly committing to prioritizing this goal. As a profession we are deepening our acknowledgment around the challenges gender inequity presents for gender minorities in academic medicine as it relates to academic advancement. An appreciation for the larger context involves understanding that although women are more likely to pursue academic medicine, a lack of gender parity in top leadership roles persists.
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