Satisfaction of Women Faculty in Academic Medicine

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Journal of Women's Health

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Research about academic medicine women faculty has focused on comparisons of men and women or specific groups who achieved leadership. To better understand the low percentages of women in academic medicine leadership, attention should be paid to the career continuum within genders. Study findings will inform policies and programs to support women in building careers and acquiring leadership positions.

Materials and Methods:

Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) StandPoint Faculty Engagement Survey data are used to describe and compare women assistant, associate and full professors' perceptions of (1) career development and advancement opportunities, and (2) a culture and climate that fosters diversity, equity, and inclusion. Specific similarities and differences with men are highlighted.


Fifty-nine percent of women respondents were assistant, 25% associate, and 16% full professors. Associate professors of both genders were the least satisfied on the main measures. Women were less satisfied than men at each career stage across the majority of variables. Among women, fewer than half of full and associate professors, and 52% of assistant professors believe they can express their opinions without fear of retribution. While the majority at all ranks (69%-75%) report feeling respected in the workplace, among those who did not, the highest percentage of disrespect based on gender was among associate professors.


The perceptions of >7,500 academic medicine women faculty, representing different generations and ranks, underscore the need to broadly address gender inequity and sexism throughout the career continuum. It identifies the mid-career stage as a challenging experience for both men and women. Women, especially at the associate professor rank, remain a critically dissatisfied and underresourced group that is at risk for underutilization and potentially exit from academic medicine. All ranks of women need career development and equitable policies to support their sense of belonging and career advancement.


© Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.



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