The Association of Pathology Chairs, an organization of American and Canadian academic pathology departments, has a record percent of women department chairs in its ranks (31%), although still not representative of the percent of women pathology faculty (43%). These women chairs were surveyed to determine what had impeded and what had facilitated their academic advancement before becoming chairs. The 2 most frequently identified impediments to their career advancement were heavy clinical loads and the lack of time, training, and/or funding to pursue research. Related to the second impediment, only one respondent became chair of a department which was in a top 25 National Institutes of Health–sponsored research medical school. Eighty-nine percent of respondents said that they had experienced gender bias during their careers in pathology, and 31% identified gender bias as an important impediment to advancement. The top facilitator of career advancement before becoming chairs was a supportive family. Strikingly, 98% of respondents have a spouse or partner, 75% have children, and 38% had children younger than 18 when becoming chairs. Additional top facilitators were opportunities to attend national meetings and opportunities to participate in leadership. Previous leadership experiences included directing a clinical service, a residency training program, and/or a medical student education program. These results suggest important ways to increase the success of women in academic pathology and increasing the percent of women department chairs, including supporting a family life and providing time, encouragement and resources for research, attending national meetings, and taking on departmental leadership positions.
- advancement in academic medicine
- gender bias
- gender diversity
- leadership development in academic medicine
- women pathology department chairs
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine