Women and academic medicine: a review of the evidence on female representation

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In 2008, the then Chief Medical Officer commissioned Baroness Deech to chair an Independent Working Group looking at the position and participation of women in the medical profession. We update and extend the Deech report to cover academic medicine in the UK. In doing so, we are not offering a systematic or exhaustive review of teh data. Rather, we describe female participation retes in medicine and academic medicine based on secondary analysis. we demonstrate that although women are equally represented in medicine, they are under-represented in academic medicine. We conclude by arguing that, although progress has been made, inequality in academic medicine matters because: (a) it is a waste of public investment due to a loss of research talent; (b) as a consequence, some areas of medicine are under-researched at a cost to patients and society; and (c) discriminatory practices and unconscious bias continue to occur.

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