Proposed Time Line and Suggested Actions Toward Resolving Gender-Related Disparities in Medicine

Proposed Time LineDecision-making GroupAction
ImmediatelyGatekeepers: (1) academic medical centers, hospitals, health care organizations and practices; (2) medical societies; (3) journals; and (4) public and private funding agencies and foundations (eg, the NIH, including the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute, and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality)Focus new and existing task forces and alliances on improving diversity and inclusion
Use a scientific approach that includes metrics, analysis, and transparent reporting of outcomes to demonstrate impact110
Gatekeeper: NIHAccelerate gender-equity efforts to change the culture and climate in medicine
Enforce funding restrictions to incentivize health care organizations to combat sexual harassment127
Continue to condemn the exclusion of women (eg, all-male panels [“manels”])128
Enforce the >15-y-old policy on the inclusion of women speakers and panelists129
Within 1–2 yGatekeepers: medical societies, especially those supported by women physician members and their employersCollect a comprehensive set of membership data
Use a comprehensive set of metrics similar to that used by the Association of Academic Physiatrists130
Engage in strategic planning to correct disparities in membership and leadership roles (eg, committee members and chairs, course directors, speakers, the board, and executive team)
Release gender-equity status in a transparent manner similar to the first of its kind report published by the Association of Academic Physiatrists130
Use a comprehensive set of metrics to monitor progress in correcting disparities
Commit to diversity on conference panels similar to the NIH commitment to ending the use of “manels”128,129
Gatekeepers: medical journalsAchieve equitable representation of women physicians and scientists on editorial boards and among leadership, including at the highest levels73,110,131,132
Gatekeepers: medical societies and journals, especially those with financial or other relationships with each otherHold each other accountable for the equitable inclusion of women in medicine
Avoid pairing with an organization that supports ongoing gender bias and discrimination affecting women physicians and scientists110
Gatekeeper: NIHDocument and augment progress in the equitable inclusion of women, including those with intersectional identities
Target equity in leadership at the highest levels of the organization110
Augment progress in the equitable inclusion of women among recipients of all grants and awards, including the Director’s Pioneer Award8082,110,133
Within 2–3 yAffected group and their supporters: women members and their colleaguesGive medical societies a short period of time, not more than 2–3 y, to document and dramatically improve their workforce equity efforts
Consider withdrawing financial and other support because it is unethical to support organizations that discriminate against women physicians and scientists110,134
Within 3–5 yGatekeepers: academic medical centers, hospitals, health care organizations, and practicesPrioritize and achieve fair pay and equitable promotion for women physicians and scientists, including at the highest levels
Review the diversity of all selection and interviewing committees
Track and transparently report the proportion of women and those underrepresented in medicine in institutional leadership roles