Sex differences in workplace satisfaction and engagement of academic pathologists: Opportunities to enhance faculty diversity

Lydia P Howell, Mary Lipscomb Lyons, Ann Thor, Valerie Dandar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Context.- There is attrition of women across professorial ranks in academic pathology. Women are underrepresented as leaders; 15.4% of academic pathology departments are chaired by women, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC). Objective.- To identify areas for targeted interventions that can advance academic and leadership development of women faculty by examining (1) sex differences in career satisfaction in US medical school pathology departments participating in the AAMC's Faculty Forward Engagement Survey, and (2) findings from a survey of the Association of Pathology Chairs (APC). Design.- The AAMC Faculty Forward Engagement Survey data are from 14 US medical schools participating in the 2011-2012 survey. Pathologists' response rate was 66% (461 of 697). To investigate sex differences, t tests and χ<sup>2</sup> analyses were used. The APC survey, administered to academic department chairs, had a 55% response rate (104 of 189). Results.- According to the Faculty Forward Engagement Survey, women report more time in patient care and less time in research. Women consider formal mentorship, feedback, and career advancement more important than men do and are less satisfied with communication and governance. The APC survey shows that 20% to 40% of nonchair department leaders are women. More than half of chairs report satisfaction with the sex diversity of their departmental leaders. Conclusion.- Opportunities exist for department chairs and professional organizations to create targeted interventions to support career satisfaction, recruitment, retention, and career and leadership development for women in academic pathology. Although chairs report satisfaction with diversity within department leadership, responses of women faculty indicate there is work to be done to grow more women leaders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)936-942
Number of pages7
JournalArchives of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Medical Laboratory Technology


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