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Global investment in biomedical research has grown significantly over the last decades, reaching approximately a quarter of a trillion US dollars in 2010. However, not all of this investment is distributed evenly by gender. It follows, arguably, that scarce research resources may not be optimally invested (by either not supporting the best science or by failing to investigate topics that benefit women and men equitably). Women across the world tend to be significantly underrepresented in research both as researchers and research participants, receive less research funding, and appear less frequently than men as authors on research publications. There is also some evidence that women are relatively disadvantaged as the beneficiaries of research, in terms of its health, societal and economic impacts. Historical gender biases may have created a path dependency that means that the research system and the impacts of research are biased towards male researchers and male beneficiaries, making it inherently difficult (though not impossible) to eliminate gender bias. In this commentary, we – a group of scholars and practitioners from Africa, America, Asia and Europe – argue that gender-sensitive research impact assessment could become a force for good in moving science policy and practice towards gender equity. Research impact assessment is the multidisciplinary field of scientific inquiry that examines the research process to maximise scientific, societal and economic returns on investment in research. It encompasses many theoretical and methodological approaches that can be used to investigate gender bias and recommend actions for change to maximise research impact. We offer a set of recommendations to research funders, research institutions and research evaluators who conduct impact assessment on how to include and strengthen analysis of gender equity in research impact assessment and issue a global call for action.
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C O M M E N T A R Y Open Access
A global call for action to include gender in
research impact assessment
Pavel V. Ovseiko
1*
, Trisha Greenhalgh
2
, Paula Adam
3
, Jonathan Grant
4
, Saba Hinrichs-Krapels
4
, Kathryn E. Graham
5
,
Pamela A. Valentine
5
, Omar Sued
6
, Omar F. Boukhris
7
, Nada M. Al Olaqi
8
, Idrees S. Al Rahbi
9
, Anne-Maree Dowd
10
,
Sara Bice
11
, Tamika L. Heiden
12,13
, Michael D. Fischer
14,15
, Sue Dopson
15
, Robyn Norton
16,17
, Alexandra Pollitt
4
,
Steven Wooding
18
, Gert V. Balling
19
, Ulla Jakobsen
20
, Ellen Kuhlmann
21,22
, Ineke Klinge
23
, Linda H. Pololi
24
,
Reshma Jagsi
25
, Helen Lawton Smith
26
, Henry Etzkowitz
27,26
, Mathias W. Nielsen
28
, Carme Carrion
3,29
,
Maite SolansDomènech
3
, Esther Vizcaino
3
, Lin Naing
30
, Quentin H. N. Cheok
31
, Baerbel Eckelmann
32
,
Moses C. Simuyemba
33
, Temwa Msiska
34
, Giovanna Declich
35
, Laurel D. Edmunds
1
, Vasiliki Kiparoglou
36,37
,
Alison M. J. Buchan
38
, Catherine Williamson
39,40,41
, Graham M. Lord
40,41,42
, Keith M. Channon
1,36,37
,
Rebecca Surender
43,44
and Alastair M. Buchan
1,36,37
Abstract
Global investment in biomedical research has grown significantly over the last decades, reaching approximately a
quarter of a trillion US dollars in 2010. However, not all of this investment is distributed evenly by gender. It follows,
arguably, that scarce research resources may not be optimally invested (by either not supporting the best science
or by failing to investigate topics that benefit women and men equitably). Women across the world tend to be
significantly underrepresented in research both as researchers and research participants, receive less research
funding, and appear less frequently than men as authors on research publications. There is also some evidence that
women are relatively disadvantaged as the beneficiaries of research, in terms of its health, societal and economic
impacts. Historical gender biases may have created a path dependency that means that the research system and
the impacts of research are biased towards male researchers and male beneficiaries, making it inherently difficult
(though not impossible) to eliminate gender bias. In this commentary, we a group of scholars and practitioners
from Africa, America, Asia and Europe argue that gender-sensitive research impact assessment could become a
force for good in moving science policy and practice towards gender equity. Research impact assessment is the
multidisciplinary field of scientific inquiry that examines the research process to maximise scientific, societal and
economic returns on investment in research. It encompasses many theoretical and methodological approaches that
can be used to investigate gender bias and recommend actions for change to maximise research impact. We offer
a set of recommendations to research funders, research institutions and research evaluators who conduct impact
assessment on how to include and strengthen analysis of gender equity in research impact assessment and issue a
global call for action.
Keywords: Research impact assessment, Gender, Path dependency, Health research, Science policy, Athena SWAN,
Call for action
* Correspondence: pavel.ovseiko@medsci.ox.ac.uk
1
Medical Sciences Division, University of Oxford, John Radcliffe Hospital,
Oxford OX3 9DU, United Kingdom
Full list of author information is available at the end of the article
© 2016 The Author(s). Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0
International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and
reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to
the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver
(http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.
Ovseiko et al. Health Research Policy and Systems (2016) 14:50
DOI 10.1186/s12961-016-0126-z
Content courtesy of Springer Nature, terms of use apply. Rights reserved.
Gender bias in health research
Global investment in biomedical research has grown sig-
nificantly over recent decades. In 2010, global invest-
ment reached US$240 billion (adjusted for purchasing
power parity), delivering important health dividends to
patients and citizens [1]. However, not all of this invest-
ment is distributed evenly by gender. It follows, argu-
ably, that scarce research resources may not be
optimally invested by either not supporting the best sci-
ence or by failing to investigate topics that benefit
women and men equitably. Gender bias in biomedical
and health research involves both biological sex differ-
ences and sociocultural differences in the way women
and men behave, and in the way they are treated [2].
There is evidence that gender bias in biomedical and
health research can occur at all stages of the research
process across the following four domains.
First, women tend to be significantly underrepresented
in research both as researchers and research partici-
pants. Although in 2013, women had reached 55% of ad-
missions to medical schools in the United Kingdom and
47% in the United States of America, they constituted
only 28% of faculty physician-scientists in the United
Kingdom and 38% in the United States [3]. Moreover, fe-
male faculty members tend to report less favourable ex-
periences and feel excluded [4, 5]. Women are also
underrepresented as research participants. Historical
analysis demonstrated a male bias in biomedical research
throughout the 20th century: it was evident in 8 of the
10 biomedical fields surveyed in 2009 [6]. For example,
while women represent nearly half of people living with
HIV, they are under-represented in clinical studies of
HIV antiretroviral drugs (19%), prophylactic vaccines
(38%) and curative strategies (11%) [7]. Women are also
under-represented in high-impact studies of non-sex-
specific cancers [8].
Second, female investigators tend to receive less re-
search funding than their male counterparts in absolute
and relative terms. This may occur because there are
fewer women investigators who apply for research fund-
ing [9], and those who apply receive smaller awards than
men [10]. There is some evidence that, in certain set-
tings, this is also amplified by reported nepotism and
sexism in peer-review [11]. Although an earlier meta-
analysis of empirical studies from different fields con-
cluded that women applying for grants have statistically
significant lower odds of receiving funding than men by
approximately 7% [12], a more recent and methodologic-
ally advanced meta-analysis of the same data [13] and a
recent empirical study [14] concluded the contrary.
United States research suggests that female early career
researchers receive significantly less start-up support
from their institutions [15] and are significantly less
likely than men to achieve independent funding awards
[16]. Further, United States research suggests that
women at particular career stages are less likely to apply
for the competitive grants for which they are eligible,
compared to their male counterparts [17]. Research
from the Netherlands demonstrated gender bias favour-
ing male grant funding applicants in the evaluation of
the quality of researcher, but not the quality of pro-
posal[18]. Even in the fields where there is no differ-
ence in funding rates between the genders, such as
radiology, women have less total grant funding than
men [19].
Third, women tend to appear less frequently than men
as winners of prestigious scientific awards and as authors
of research publications. Among 210 Nobel Laureates in
Physiology or Medicine awarded from 1901 to 2015, there
are only 12 (5.7%) women [20]. Despite significant pro-
gress in recent decades, women are still underrepresented
as authors of research articles in medical journals [21, 22],
especially as first and senior authors [23, 24]. For example,
the proportion of women first authors in six prominent
international medical journals increased from 6% in 1970
to 29% in 2004, and the proportion of women senior au-
thors increased during the same period from 4% to 19%
[23]. In radiology, the proportion of women first authors
increased from 8% in 1978 to 32% in 2013 [25]. The pro-
portion of women first authors in high impact general
medical journals increased from 27% in 1994 to 37% in
2014, but it has recently plateaued and even declined in
some journals [26].
Finally, women may be disadvantaged as the benefi-
ciaries of research in terms of its health, societal and
economic impacts [2729]. There is evidence to suggest
that research that does not account for gender differ-
ences can result in inaccurate conclusions about how
women respond to disease and this, in turn, will influ-
ence the effectiveness of treatment choices [30, 31]. For
example, Yentl syndromedescribes sex bias in the man-
agement of coronary heart disease due to the fact that
medical research had predominantly studied symptoms
of heart attacks in men [32]. Historically, those women
who presented with symptoms of heart attack similar to
those in men received the same diagnostic and treat-
ment procedures as men, but those whose symptoms
presented differently were not properly treated and may
have died unnecessarily. For such reasons, the League of
European Research Universities has recently stressed
that, without including gender analysis in research, the
impact of science may not be equally beneficial for both
men and women [33].
In what follows, we elaborate on the path dependent
nature of gender bias in science and why it is difficult,
but not impossible to address. Second, we outline key
characteristics of research impact assessment; we argue
that by investigating gender bias, research impact
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assessment can become a force for good in moving sci-
ence policy and practice towards gender equity. Third,
we offer a set of recommendations about how research
funders, research institutions and research evaluators
can include and strengthen analysis of gender equity in
research impact assessment. We conclude by issuing a
global call for action.
Path dependency of gender bias
Historical gender biases have generated a form of path
dependency such that the research system, including re-
search impacts, is, to some extent, male oriented. In
most countries, women began entering higher education
institutions in substantial numbers only from the begin-
ning of the 20th century. However, over the last century,
remarkable social progress has been made, across much
of the globe, towards gender equity. Proponents of the
so-called pipelineargument believed that once numbers
of women entering universities reached sufficient num-
bers and they were not discriminated against for admis-
sion into the pipeline, gender bias in the representation
of women in science would gradually disappear [3438].
Indeed, in many countries where there are strict non-
discrimination laws, women have reached 40% or more
in admissions to medicine and other university health
science degrees a figure that is sometimes used as a
threshold for gender balance [39]. Nevertheless, gender
bias in health research still persists because the path
dependent nature of science makes it difficult to change
the status quo.
The notion of path dependency, which originates in
economics and political science, suggests that our
current actions depend on existing knowledge and past
decisions, and therefore strong conjunctural forces are
required to move policy and practice away from the
established path [40]. Research on path dependency in
political science suggests that such forces are associated
with rational values and a strong centralised authority
such as governments wishing to change current policy
and practice [40, 41]. Path dependent gender bias in re-
search is hard to address because it is often institutiona-
lised as policies, practices, beliefs and written or
unwritten rules of behaviour that structure modern sci-
ence and society.
The path dependent tendency of science is aptly illus-
trated by Isaac Newtons metaphor of standing on the
shoulders of giants. Historically, these giants of science
have been overwhelmingly male [42]. The Matthew
Matilda effecthighlights the tendency for womens work
to be systematically omitted in the history of scientific
achievements or even to be misattributed to men [43].
This is part of a wider historical tendency within a range
of societies (regardless of culture, religion or political or-
ganisation) for an unequal distribution of scientific
resources and power between men and women. Both the
current body of scientific knowledge and current scien-
tific practices are consequently shaped predominantly by
male perceptions and norms, which are often influenced
by both conscious and unconscious gender bias.
As far as scientific knowledge is concerned, there has
been a propensity not to take into consideration possible
sex and gender differences in the research design and
analysis of clinical trials [44, 45]. However, given that
both the occurrence and outcomes of a range of medical
conditions differ for men and women, a large body of
clinical knowledge which does not take relevant sex and
gender differences into account may be flawed [44]. For
example, 50 years ago, few studies included women in
prospective cohort studies of all-cause or coronary heart
disease mortality [46]. Although a growing number of
peer-reviewed health research journals now have editor-
ial policies requiring sex- or gender-specific reporting of
results [29], there remain many journals without such
policies [47].
Scientific practices and structures can also be biased
against women. Male and female leaders may have dif-
ferent leadership traits: women are more likely to focus
on collaboration and may have less interest, and fare less
well, in hierarchical organisation [48, 49]. However, ap-
pointment criteria for scientific leadership are often
based on classical male-genderedtraits [5053]. Aca-
demic promotion and tenure criteria have also tradition-
ally been based on a male-gendered career trajectory
which collides with the biological clock of women wish-
ing to raise families [54], although much progress has
been made in some countries to protect against bias to-
wards those taking career breaks. Implicit bias affects
the advancement and promotion of women within the
research workforce [55], while recruitment materials
may be interpreted through a gender bias lens, with rec-
ommendation letters for men being read as stronger
than those for women with equal qualifications [56].
Likewise, women candidates for tenured research posi-
tions are sometimes put at a disadvantage due to back-
door hiringpractices and mobilisations of informal,
potentially gendered, network ties, in academic recruit-
ment and selection [57, 58].
Nevertheless, there is an opportunity to move science
policy and practice towards greater gender equity, be-
cause scientific enterprise is founded on rational values.
In essence, scientific enterprise strives to produce object-
ive knowledge without bias, with a view to bringing soci-
etal and economic benefits to humanity. Greater gender
equity helps scientific enterprise achieve objective know-
ledge regardless of the ways objectivity is conceived of
by different epistemological communities. The trad-
itional view is that objective knowledge exists and can
be achieved by removing different biases, including the
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gender bias. This view is questioned by feminist scholars
who contend that all knowledge is gender-biased in one
way or another and thus objectivity can be achieved by
increasing the pluralism of perspectives to balance biases
and by critically evaluating biases in both knowledge and
methods of enquiry [5962].
Although the value of gender equity for increasing the
objectivity of science is acknowledged by different epis-
temological communities, the scope for centralised pol-
icy action to maximise research impact through the
gender equity pathway within scientific enterprise is lim-
ited. This is partly because many research funders and
institutions are decentralised (and cross multiple sectors
including private, public and third-sector), and partly be-
cause changes in policy may reduce but not eliminate
gender bias. Whilst national and local policies may be in
place, the reality of research enterprise is that decision-
making authority is devolved to the level of departments,
centres and, sometimes, individual principal investiga-
tors. Moreover, scientific enterprise has (encouragingly)
become globalised (there is increased mobility of re-
searchers, and many research funders and institutions
seek to become globally competitive in the knowledge
economy). It follows that gender equity in research re-
quires action at a global level to be maximally effective
(Fig. 1).
Research impact assessment
Research impact assessment is the multidisciplinary field
of scientific inquiry that examines the research process
to maximise scientific, societal and economic returns on
investment in research. Unlike the primary orientation
of basic science, which is concerned with the advance-
ment of knowledge for its own sake, research impact
assessment (a form of research on research) is predom-
inantly oriented towards applied research objectives of
influencing policy and practice. Research impact assess-
ment has developed its own methods of analysis, draw-
ing on other disciplines and fields of knowledge [6368].
Its combination of applied research objectives and scien-
tific rigour should allow research impact assessment to
become a force for good in moving science policy and
practice towards gender equity by investigating gender
bias and recommending actions for change.
The driving forces behind research impact assessment
have been conceptualised into the Four Asof Advo-
cacy, Accountability, Analysis and Allocation [69]. Given
the challenges of addressing gender bias in research,
each of the Four Asof research impact assessment are
necessary to address gender bias in research (Fig. 2):
Advocacy is needed to make the case[69] for
science free from gender bias, by highlighting the
scientific, societal, and economic benefits of gender
equity in research.
Accountability to the public requires that funding
and staffing decisions by research funders and
research institutions are made fairly, and that an
account of such decision-making is captured and
reported transparently through appropriate metrics.
Analysis is necessary to challenge gender bias and
discover policies that eliminate it, as well as
conditions under which these policies could be
transferred to other organisations and countries.
Allocation of research funding to ensure equitable
participation of both genders in research is
imperative for the legitimisation of and public
support for science [38].
Various methodological approaches may be used
within research impact assessment to investigate and ad-
dress gender bias (Table 1). For example, logic modelling
and related theories of change [70] can be applied to sys-
tematically investigate gender equity at all stages of the
research process, as well as effective mechanisms for en-
suring the transparent and equitable distribution of re-
sources and power. Bibliometrics and other traditional
research output metrics (scientometrics) can be used to
Fig. 1 The gender equity pathway to maximise research impact. Shown are the forces that influence the key stakeholders in promoting gender
equity to maximise different possible types of research impact
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measure gender-based differences in research outputs,
their academic impacts, including gender-based citation
behaviour, and non-academic impacts [23, 7174]; how-
ever, unless supplemented by additional methodologies,
they will not illuminate the reasons for such differences.
Potentially, the more immediate academic and non-
academic impact of research can also be measured using
non-traditional web-based metrics (altmetrics) [75, 76].
Surveys and narrative case studies can be especially use-
ful in investigating these differences. Curriculum vitae
and survey data can be combined to measure variations
in researcherssocietal outreach and orientation [77],
and text-mining algorithms can be employed to analyse
developments in the scholarly attention to gender and
sex issues in biomedical research [78]. Information and
management science approaches can be employed to de-
velop performance management systems (such as the re-
cently described balanced scorecard[79]) for assessing
and monitoring gender equity both in the awarding of
grants and selection of research topics. Finally, economic
modelling and cost-benefit analysis could be employed
to examine how gender equity can maximise economic
returns on investment in research.
Whichever methodological approaches are employed,
active engagement with users of impact assessment is
needed, in turn, to disseminate findings and influence
policy and practice. Communication of these findings is
likely to be strengthened by the use of infographics, dia-
grams, charts and other visual tools to help clearly con-
vey qualitative and quantitative data and trends. For
example, recent analysis of the United Kingdoms Re-
search Excellence Framework 2014 impact case studies
has used innovative infographics, alluvial and chord dia-
grams, word clouds, heat maps and impact wheels, syn-
thesising complex data to reveal where research has had
a societal impact [80]. With increasing use of the web
and social media by researchers and research users, im-
pact assessment results can be rapidly communicated
through a variety of media, including research blogs, so-
cial networks and web feeds. Gender-sensitive visualisa-
tion and dissemination can further enhance engagement
with users of impact assessment.
Recommendations
For research impact assessment to become a force for
good in moving science policy and practice towards gen-
der equity, we propose that gender be routinely included
in research impact assessment. Based on our knowledge
Fig. 2 The Four Asof research impact assessment with regard to
gender equity
Table 1 Selection of methods in research impact assessment and how they may be used to investigate and address gender bias
Methods Applications
Logic modelling describes and graphically represents the chains of
results associated with all stages of the research process; theories of
change are formulated on the basis of these chains of results to explain
how to achieve the desired results
To provide a framework to systematically investigate gender equity at all
stages of the research process, and investigate how gender equity can
help maximise desired research outputs and impacts
Scientometrics pertain to the statistical analysis of articles and citations in
academic journals (bibliometrics) and other research-based outputs, e.g.
patents, commercialisation
To measure gender-based differences in research outputs, their academic
impacts, including gender-biased citation behaviour, and non-academic
impacts
Altmetrics measure the online attention to academic articles on social
media, mainstream news websites, blogs and social bookmarking
websites
To measure gender-based differences in more immediate academic and
non-academic impact of research
Surveys, curriculum vitae data, narrative case studies and text-mining
algorithms collect quantitative and qualitative information that may
not already have been captured as part of the research process
To investigate gender-based differences in perceptions of and approaches
to the research process, outcomes and impacts
Information and management science approaches allow developing
balanced scorecards and other performance management systems
To assess and monitor gender equity in research organisations
Economic modelling categorises and cost-benefit analysis assesses
different types of benefits from research
To examine how gender equity can maximise economic returns on
investment in research
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and experience of the field, we a group of scholars and
practitioners representing research leaders from Africa,
America, Asia and Europe offer recommendations to
research funders, research institutions and research eval-
uators (i.e. those who conduct research impact assess-
ment) on how to include and strengthen analysis of
gender equity in research impact assessment. Our rec-
ommendations are outlined below and summarised in
Table 2.
Research funders
Internationally, research funders have long conducted
research impact assessment in order to demonstrate ac-
countability to taxpayers and philanthropists as well as
to inform their resource allocation practices. In so doing,
many funders already have established systems for col-
lecting basic gender-based information on the research
they fund. Such information is often required to demon-
strate compliance with anti-discrimination legislation.
However, it is not routinely used for research impact as-
sessment. We recommend that research funders conduct
retrospective research impact assessment using gender-
based information already available. We suggest this
should inform the development and implementation of
gender equity policies, and lead to more gender-sensitive
prospective data collection. This would help identify re-
search programmes and practices that are most reflect-
ive of gender equity, areas which may need may need
further exploration or development, and policies to
support fairer application processes. For example, the
Australian Research Council has recently introduced a
gender equity action plan, including policies to report
gender disaggregated data and monitor the gender out-
comes of selection rounds [81].
It has long been recognised that research results may
not equally apply to men and women if scientific evi-
dence fails to consider relevant sex and gender issues.
However, developing formal policies and approaches by
research funders to encourage researchers to include
considerations of sex and gender in their research de-
signs and analyses is a relatively recent phenomenon
[82]. For example, since 2009, the Canadian Institutes of
Health Research requires that all grant applicants con-
sider whether their research designs include sex and
gender when appropriate [83]. In 2014, the United States
National Institutes of Health announced new supple-
mental awards to explore the effects of sex and gender
in preclinical and clinical studies [84]. The European
Commission has integrated gender- and sex-based ana-
lysis into Horizon 2020 its biggest research and
innovation programme for 20142020 [85]. Such pol-
icies encourage researchers to study both sexes to aid
scientific innovation and better health for all citizens.
We recommend that research funders adopt policies to
ensure that researchers address relevant sex and gender
issues in their research designs and analyses.
There are also research funders that now require re-
search institutions applying for research funding to dem-
onstrate how they support gender equality in research
careers. This is mainly achieved through various award
schemes designed to promote structural change in re-
search institutions [86]. For example, the United
Kingdom National Institute for Health Research made
designation and funding of its Biomedical Research
Centres conditional upon the achievement by academic
applicants of at least the Silver Award of the Athena
Project and the Scientific Womens Academic Network
(SWAN) Charter for Women in Science, which recognises
work undertaken by research institutions to advance
womens careers in science, technology, engineering,
mathematics and medicine (STEMM) [79]. Another ex-
ample of integrating gender equity into research funding
criteria is the report card developed by the New York
Stem Cell Foundation to assess institutions in grant appli-
cation processes [87]. We recommend that research
Table 2 Recommendations to include and strengthen analysis
of gender equity in research impact assessment
Stakeholders Recommendations
Research
funders
Conduct retrospective and prospective observational
gender-based research impact assessment to inform
implementation of gender equity policies
Adopt policies to ensure that researchers address
relevant sex and gender issues in their research
designs and analyses
Identify and apply evidence-based approaches to
integrating gender equity into research funding
criteria
Where appropriate, support theoretical and applied
research on the scientific, societal and economic
impact of gender equity in research
Research
institutions
Establish information systems for collecting and
analysing gender-based information on the research
process
Work towards improving and refining the quality of
gender-based data
Train and support interested students and staff to
include gender in research impact assessment
Establish gender equity activity as a criterion for
performance management and annual appraisal and
promotion
Research
evaluators
Engage with the research impact assessment
literature with a view to identifying and applying
evidence-based tools and approaches to gender-
sensitive research impact assessment
Identify, investigate and address gender differences in
research production and impact, including
commercialisation
Increase the objectivity of research impact assessment
by conducting evaluations in gender-balanced teams
using an appropriate mix of methods
Collaborate and share knowledge through gender-
balanced networks and communities of practice
Engage impact assessment users and the public
in debate on gender bias and recommend
actions for change
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funders identify and apply evidence-based approaches to
integrating gender equity into research funding criteria.
So far, relatively little scholarly attention has been
given to the scientific, societal and economic impact of
gender equity in research. Debate on gender equity in
research has been primarily driven by human rights and
equality imperatives and is based on evidence that is
sparse and of variable methodological quality [3]. Im-
portantly, experimental research shows gender differ-
ences in how the quality of evidence revealing gender
bias is evaluated by women and men [88]. There is a
need to systematise the current evidence to map more
precisely the state of knowledge, ignorance and uncer-
tainty in the field, and identify gaps in the evidence base
where new research is needed. Such a scoping exercise is
likely to highlight the need for further comparative ef-
fectiveness research to determine the most effective pol-
icy interventions, as well as the conditions under which
particular interventions can be effective in different
settings. Additionally, fields beyond medicine (such as
higher education studies and the sociology of science)
may provide important theoretical perspectives that will
help guide the design of empirical studies. We recom-
mend that, where appropriate, research funders support
theoretical and applied research on the scientific, societal
and economic impact of gender equity in research.
Research institutions
Increasingly, research institutions realise that winning
the talent war for women[89] has great potential to
contribute to their international competitiveness and fu-
ture growth. However, research institutions do not al-
ways have information systems that allow disaggregating
key research performance data by gender. Moreover,
progress towards gender equity and the enhanced ability
to compete for the best students, faculty and staff of
both genders are not routinely considered as key per-
formance indicators by universities themselves and as a
basis for competition with their peers globally, e.g. in
university rankings and league tables. We recommend
that universities and other research institutions establish
systems for collecting and analysing gender-based infor-
mation on the research process.
Gender equity in research institutions tends to vary by
level of seniority, department, and discipline. Women
tend to be better represented at entry and junior levels
and underrepresented at senior levels, especially in the
STEMM sciences and clinical trials. If gender analysis is
conducted on too coarse a unit of aggregation, different
biases can inadvertently cancel each other out (e.g.
women in nursing, men in surgery). We recommend
that research institutions work towards improving and
refining the quality of gender-based data, e.g. by ensur-
ing that it is possible to disaggregate gender-based
information vertically by the level of seniority and hori-
zontally by department and discipline.
Research institutions have a unique role to play in the
inclusion of gender in research impact assessment be-
cause they educate and employ todays and tomorrows
research evaluators. Research institutions can create
awareness amongst their students and staff about the
importance of gender analysis and provide them with
the necessary knowledge and skills to analyse and report
gender-specific and gender-comparative results. For ex-
ample, they can include elements of gender analysis and
social science perspectives on gender biases in know-
ledge and methods of enquiry in the teaching curricula
of the relevant disciplines; organise multi-disciplinary
workshops and seminars to develop the competencies of
the students and staff interested in research impact as-
sessment; implement comprehensive diversity and inclu-
sion plans [90]; consider targets and quotas for women
in leadership [91]; actively develop expert knowledge
leadership in gender-sensitive research impact [92]; and
even evaluate and address the gender pay gap [93, 94].
We recommend that research institutions train and sup-
port interested students and staff to include gender in
research impact assessment.
Most research institutions across the globe now have
in place programmes and initiatives to support gender
equity, either as part of their own efforts or as a re-
sponse to the incentives provided by research funders.
For example, most research-intensive universities in the
United Kingdom participate in the Athena SWAN Char-
ter for Women in Science and its national and regional
equality networks [95]. This requires extensive data col-
lection and analysis, discussions in working groups and
committees, and preparation and implementation of ac-
tion plans. Female faculty bear much of the burden for
preparing Athena SWAN award applications [87], which
may even be to the detriment of their core scientific ac-
tivity and thus productivity and promotion. Therefore, it
is important to ensure that gender equity activity under-
taken by faculty is recognised within their own institu-
tions and scientific fields. We recommend that research
institutions include gender equity activity as a criterion
for performance management and annual appraisal and
promotion.
Research evaluators
The science of research impact assessment has already
developed a number of validated evidence-based ap-
proaches that can be used for gender analysis. Moreover,
there is an emerging evidence base of successful research
impact assessment studies focussing specifically on gen-
der [96, 97]. By using similar tools in new studies, re-
search evaluators can test their robustness and extend
the evidence base in ways that allow synthesis across
Ovseiko et al. Health Research Policy and Systems (2016) 14:50 Page 7 of 12
Content courtesy of Springer Nature, terms of use apply. Rights reserved.
studies. Therefore, we recommend that research evalua-
tors engage with the research impact assessment literature
with a view to identifying and applying evidence-based
tools and approaches to gender-sensitive research impact
assessment. However, when new kinds of research ques-
tions are being asked about gender, it may be appropriate
to develop new tools and approaches.
Gender analysis can reveal important differences be-
tween men and women in research production and im-
pact that can inform policies to optimise performance of
the scientific enterprise. Whereas male scientists may be
more productive during the early stages of their careers,
the productivity rates of female scientists may equal or
surpass those of men later in their careers [98, 99].
Whereas male physician-scientists may be more inter-
ested in basic science with long-term impacts, female
physician-scientists may be more interested in clinical
work with more immediate patient benefits [100]. Like-
wise, there may be important gender differences in co-
authorship behaviour, interdisciplinary collaboration and
societal impact [99]. Whereas women leaders may be
more collaborative, more nurturing, and share power
and uncertainty more, male leaders may be more hier-
archical; and whereas male researchers may be geared
towards scientific rewards and recognition, female re-
searchers may have a greater societal orientation and
output [77]. However, on the basis of the evidence in re-
lation to the quality of womens academic outputs and
citations, there is no evidence that women do less im-
portant work than men[52]. Thus, where gender differ-
ences exist, this not only requires further exploration,
but also highlights the need for the use of appropriate
metrics that do not lead to a systematic bias in assessing
the research production and impact of either men or
women. We recommend that research evaluators inves-
tigate gender differences in research production and im-
pact, especially in terms of productivity, collaboration,
impact time lags and types of impact, and carefully select
appropriate metrics to avoid bias.
It is important to ensure that the act of research im-
pact assessment itself does not become affected by gen-
der bias. For example, there may be a gender bias in the
selection of methods and models of inquiry. Whereas
quantitative methods and a positivist natural science
model of inquiry have been traditionally associated with
male researchers, qualitative methods and an interpreti-
vist social science model of inquiry have been tradition-
ally associated with female researchers [101]. Moreover,
there is a disagreement between different epistemo-
logical communities as to whether the objectivity of
knowledge can be achieved by removing gender bias or
by increasing the pluralism of perspectives to balance
different gender biases [60]. Regardless of the ways ob-
jectivity is conceived of by different epistemological
communities, increasing gender equity in research teams
and the pluralism of methods can increase the objectivity
of knowledge. We recommend that research evaluators in-
crease the objectivity of research impact assessment by
conducting evaluations in gender-balanced teams using an
appropriate mix of methods.
Research impact assessment is a rapidly growing field
of knowledge spanning disciplinary, organisational and
geographical boundaries. Research evaluators can stay
abreast of new knowledge and strategic developments in
the field through collaboration and knowledge sharing.
These can also help identify solutions to common prob-
lems and provide feedback without wasting time and re-
sources. Moreover, participation in boundary-spanning
networks and communities of practice can diffuse in-
novative ideas and unleash collective creativity to dis-
cover new approaches for the greater good. In doing so
it is important that networks and communities of prac-
tice strive to achieve gender balance among their mem-
bers and leaders, and routinely address gender issues.
We recommend that research evaluators collaborate and
share knowledge through gender-balanced networks and
communities of practice.
Research evaluators have a potentially transformative
role to play in the scientific enterprise because research
impact assessment is predominantly oriented towards
influencing policy and practice. As research evaluators
investigate research outputs and outcomes, they engage
with a wide range of stakeholders and communicate
their findings to decision-makers. This gives research
evaluators an opportunity not only to investigate gender
bias, but also to suggest a course of policy interventions
to promote gender equity. The knowledge of science
policy in various settings also enables research evaluators
to initiate public debate and advocate for science free
from gender bias. We recommend that research evalua-
tors engage impact assessment users and the public in
debate on gender bias and recommend actions for
change.
Conclusions
Growing global investment in biomedical research is un-
likely to result in outstanding science that benefits
women and men equitably if current levels of conscious
and unconscious gender bias in health research persist.
Gender bias is difficult to eliminate, in part because of
the historical late entry of women into higher education
and research, and a tendency of path dependency in sci-
ence. However, we argue that research impact assess-
ment can become a force for good in moving science
policy and practice towards gender equity by revealing
and challenging gender bias. Success in applying re-
search impact assessment to address gender bias will de-
pend on sustained action by multiple stakeholders at all
Ovseiko et al. Health Research Policy and Systems (2016) 14:50 Page 8 of 12
Content courtesy of Springer Nature, terms of use apply. Rights reserved.
stages of the research process and internationally. We
call on research funders, research institutions and re-
search evaluators globally to include gender in research
impact assessment in order to maximise scientific, soci-
etal and economic returns on investment in research.
Abbreviations
Athena SWAN, Athena Project and the Scientific Womens Academic Network;
STEMM, science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine
Acknowledgements
Early ideas for this paper were presented and discussed at the International
School on Research Impact Assessment, 812 November 2015, Doha,
organised by the Qatar National Research Fund, Alberta Innovates Health
Solutions (AIHS), Agency for Health Quality and Assessment of Catalonia
(AQuAS), RAND Europe, and Kings College London. We would like to thank
Mrs. Safia Al Marhoobi and Mrs. Noora Al Balushi from The Research Council
(Oman) for their assistance with data collection, and Dr. Hasneen Karbalai
from The University of Oxford for his valuable comments and suggestions.
HLS is supported by European Commission & IGRUE FP7 award TRIGGER:
Transforming Institutions by Gendering contents and Gaining Equality in
Research (20142017) Grant Agreement n° 611034. LDE was supported by the
John Fell Fund and the Vice-Chancellors Diversity Fund, University of Oxford.
AMB, KMC and GML hold NIHR Senior Investigator Awards. The publication of
this article was supported by the NIHR Oxford Biomedical Research Centre.
Funding
NIHR Oxford Biomedical Research Centre, Oxford, United Kingdom.
Availability of data and materials
Not applicable.
Authorscontributions
PVO conceived of this call for action and led the drafting of the manuscript
with substantive input from TG. All other authors critically revised the
manuscript and provided important comments and suggestions. All of the
authors read and approved the final version of the manuscript.
Competing interests
TG represented Medicine on the Equality and Diversity Panel for the 2014
Research Excellence Framework (REF); in that role, she was involved in
assessing universitiesprocedures for assuring equality (by gender, ethnicity,
disability and sexual orientation) in their decisions on which individuals to
submit to the REF. RS is Advocate for Diversity and Pro Vice-Chancellor,
University of Oxford. RG has grant funding from the Doris Duke Charitable
Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, the Michigan Radiation Oncology
Quality Consortium, and the Greenwall Foundation for unrelated work. All other
authors declare that they have no competing interests.
Consent for publication
Not applicable.
Ethics approval and consent to participate
Not applicable.
Disclaimer
The views expressed are those of the authors and not necessarily of the
authorsrespective organisations, funders or sponsors.
Author details
1
Medical Sciences Division, University of Oxford, John Radcliffe Hospital,
Oxford OX3 9DU, United Kingdom.
2
Nuffield Department of Primary Care
Health Sciences, University of Oxford, Radcliffe Primary Care Building,
Woodstock Road, Oxford OX2 6GG, United Kingdom.
3
Agency for Health
Quality and Assessment of Catalonia (AQuAS), Carrer de Roc Boronat, 81,
ES-08005 Barcelona, Spain.
4
The Policy Institute, Kings College London,
Strand Campus, London WC2R 2LS, United Kingdom.
5
Alberta Innovates
Health Solutions, 10104-103 Avenue NW, Edmonton, AB T5J 4A7, Canada.
6
Fundación Huésped, Pasaje A. Peluffo 3932 (C1202ABB), Buenos Aires,
Argentina.
7
Qatar National Research Fund, P.O. Box 5825, Doha, Qatar.
8
Qatar
Foundation, P.O. Box 5825, Doha, Qatar.
9
Department of Studies and
Planning, The Research Council, P.O. Box 1422, Al Azaiba 130, Oman.
10
Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, P.O. Box
883, Kenmore, Brisbane 4069, Australia.
11
Melbourne School of Government,
The University of Melbourne, Parkville, Victoria 3010, Australia.
12
School of
Population Health, University of Western Australia, Perth, WA 6009, Australia.
13
Knowledge Translation Australia Pty Ltd., Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.
14
Faculty of Business and Economics, University of Melbourne, 198 Berkeley
Street, Parkville, Victoria 3010, Australia.
15
Saïd Business School, University of
Oxford, Park End Street, Oxford OX1 1HR, United Kingdom.
16
The George
Institute for Global Health, University of Oxford, 34 Broad Street, Oxford OX1
3BD, United Kingdom.
17
The George Institute for Global Health, University of
Sydney, P.O. Box M201Missenden Road, Sydney NSW 2050, Australia.
18
RAND
Europe, Westbrook Centre, Milton Road, Cambridge CB4 1YG, United
Kingdom.
19
Novo Nordisk Foundation, Tuborg Havnevej 19, DK-2900
Hellerup, Denmark.
20
Lundbeck Foundation, Scherfigsvej 7, DK-2100
Copenhagen, Denmark.
21
Institute for Economics, Labour and Culture,
Goethe-University Frankfurt, Senckenberganlage 31, 60325 Frankfurt am
Main, Germany.
22
Medical Management Centre, Department of Learning,
Informatics, Management and Ethics (LIME), Karolinska Institutet,
Tomtebodavaegen 18a, 171 77 Stockholm, Sweden.
23
Horizon 2020 Advisory
Group for Gender, European Commission, Brussels, Belgium.
24
National
Initiative on Gender, Culture and Leadership in Medicine: C-Change, Brandeis
University Womens Studies Research Center, 415 South Street, MS 079,
Waltham, MA 02454, United States of America.
25
Department of Radiation
Oncology, Center for Bioethics and Social Sciences in Medicine, University of
Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, United States of America.
26
Department of
Management, Birkbeck, University of London, Malet Street, London WC1E
7HX, United Kingdom.
27
International Triple Helix Institute, 1520 Sand Hill
Road, A210, Palo Alto, CA 94304, United States of America.
28
Gendered
Innovations, History Department, Stanford University, 450 Serra Mall, Stanford,
CA 94305, United States of America.
29
Health Sciences Department,
Universitat Oberta de Catalunya, Av. Tibidabo 39-43, ES-08035 Barcelona,
Spain.
30
PAPRSB Institute of Health Sciences, Universiti Brunei Darussalam,
Jalan Tungku Link, Gadong BE1410, Brunei Darussalam.
31
Faculty of
Integrated Technologies, Universiti Brunei Darussalam, Jalan Tungku Link,
Gadong BE1410, Brunei Darussalam.
32
QS Intelligence Unit, Quacquarelli
Symonds Ltd, 4 Heathgate, Agincourt Rd, London NW3 2NT, United
Kingdom.
33
Department of Public Health, School of Medicine, University of
Zambia, Nationalist Rd, Lusaka, Zambia.
34
Research Support Centre, College
of Medicine, University of Malawi, P.O. Box 360, Chichiri, Blantyre 3, Malawi.
35
Assembly of Women for Development and the Struggle against Social
Exclusion (ASDO), via Guido Reni 56, 00196 Rome, Italy.
36
NIHR Oxford
Biomedical Research Centre, Joint Research Office, Churchill Hospital, Oxford
OX3 7LE, United Kingdom.
37
Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation
Trust, John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford OX3 9DU, United Kingdom.
38
Department of Physiology, University of Toronto, 1 Kings College Circle,
Toronto, Ontario M5S 1A8, Canada.
39
Womens Health Academic Centre,
Kings College London, Guys Hospital, London SE1 1UL, United Kingdom.
40
NIHR Biomedical Research Centre at Guys and St ThomasNHS Foundation
Trust and Kings College London, Guys Hospital, London SE1 9RT, United
Kingdom.
41
Guys and St ThomasNHS Foundation Trust, Guys Hospital,
London SE1 9RT, United Kingdom.
42
MRC Centre for Transplantation, Kings
College London, GuysHospital, London SE1 9RT, United Kingdom.
43
Department of Social Policy and Intervention, University of Oxford, Barnett
House, 32-37 Wellington Square, Oxford OX1 2ER, United Kingdom.
44
Institute of Social and Economic Research, Rhodes University, P.O. Box 94,
Grahamstown 6140, South Africa.
Received: 5 April 2016 Accepted: 24 June 2016
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... Compared with men, societally, women may be seen as lacking the brilliance necessary for discovery 1 and are less likely to be seen as leaders in science. 2 The oft-touted example that even after Marie Curie was awarded her second Nobel Prize, she was refused membership of the French Acad emie de Sciences, exemplifies the systemic biases that have been institutionalized as policies, practices, beliefs and written or unwritten rules of behavior. 3 Despite the increasing and almost equal recruitment of women into university degrees and early research positions, women continue to be underrepresented at senior levels of academia. 3 Many factors contribute to the under-representation of women in academic research. ...
... 3 Despite the increasing and almost equal recruitment of women into university degrees and early research positions, women continue to be underrepresented at senior levels of academia. 3 Many factors contribute to the under-representation of women in academic research. Gender stereotypes place value on male leadership traits, whilst placing expectations on women to take on the greater household or carer responsibilities, although these biases are not limited to academia and can be identified in industry, government and beyond. ...
... 4 Peer review underlies the many processes involved in academic merit but there are concerns about its transparency and fairness. Even though women contribute more labor, they receive less credit for publications 5 and are under-represented as authors, 3 with their publications being less cited than men. 6 To compound this, on average, men cite more men, including self-citations. ...
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Universally, women are underrepresented in senior academic leadership in Science Technology Engineering Maths and Medicine (STEMM). Successful funding outcomes are a critical point in career progression, to continue both a scientist’s research but also for their retention within the STEMM workforce. A common explanation for the lower success rate of women in securing funding is that fewer women apply for funding. However, this does not adequately explain the gender inequities in funding outcomes, both in terms of fewer funded applications and also reduced funding awarded per grant, resulting in less overall success. Gendered funding outcomes occur within academic institutions and peak funding bodies due to historical, systemic conscious and unconscious biases during peer review. As a cumulative bias over a woman’s research career, this results in women being underrepresented in STEMM and the loss of their contributions to medical research, reducing innovation through lack of diverse workforces.
... Although the governments are making efforts to bridge the gap, these gaps need to be revisited and strengthened and deeply understood. Our review suggests that health services can be gender discriminatory or gender blind, but the policies and practices must strictly promote gender neutrality (Balasubramanian et al. 2004;WHO 2011WHO , 2012Ovseiko et al. 2016). The recent study also suggests that inequalities in health between women and men and included a gendered understanding of health to address the war between women and men's access to health care services (Ovseiko et al. 2016). ...
... Our review suggests that health services can be gender discriminatory or gender blind, but the policies and practices must strictly promote gender neutrality (Balasubramanian et al. 2004;WHO 2011WHO , 2012Ovseiko et al. 2016). The recent study also suggests that inequalities in health between women and men and included a gendered understanding of health to address the war between women and men's access to health care services (Ovseiko et al. 2016). Many authors, such as Doyal, (2012), Khoury &Weisman (2002) andEOC, (2006) have also suggested equity in health care provisions and differential needs of women rather than giving importance to the outcome. ...
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The right to healthcare services is considered the highest entitlement in India, with the help of economic prowess. However, after 75 years of independence, the constraints for health services across the gender still exist glaringly, with more discrimination against women. Indian women still struggle to receive proper healthcare facilities compared to their male counterparts, hindering women’s social and economic growth. The current paper discusses a range of literature reviews using a systematic approach according to PRISMA guidelines to find the nuances in accessing healthcare services in the Indian context for women. We searched for a combination of gender and health, such as accessibility, utilization, health-seeking behaviour, healthcare delivery, availability of healthcare services, gender disparity, and barriers in women's healthcare services. The term India also combined with them to unearth all relevant literature. Finally, around 80 research papers were collected and reviewed from different search engines such as Google Scholar, Scopus, Web of Sciences, and PubMed for assessing the gender angle in healthcare. The paper presents an outline of a theoretical framework with the help of healthcare services' demand and supply side. The paper adopted the health systems approach in its theoretical framework. The paper suggests revisiting existing schemes, policies, and programs regarding gender issues, which help identify solutions and recommendations for policymakers and government bodies.
... Otros investigadores también constataron que, en los países más productivos en materia científica, los artículos en los que las mujeres aparecen como autoras destacadas reciben menos citas que aquéllos con hombres en una posición equivalente (16,17,(22)(23)(24)(25)(26)(27)(28)(29)(30)(31) . ...
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Introducción: En las publicaciones científicas existe un sesgo de género demostrado entre mujeres y hombres. Objetivo: Identificar en tres revistas de Anestesiología y Reanimación: colombiana, mexicana y cubana, las diferencias entre mujeres y hombres como autores principales de artículos científicos en los últimos cinco años. Material y métodos: Se realizó un estudio descriptivo, observacional de corte transversal en tres revistas: La Revista Mexicana, la Revista Colombiana y la Revista Cubana de Anestesiología y Reanimación, en el período comprendido entre los meses de enero de 2013 a diciembre de 2018. Para ello, se solicitó el consentimiento al Director de la Revista para revisar los artículos publicados en el período señalado, los primeros autores y el tipo de publicación realizada en los últimos cinco años. Resultados: Se analizaron un total de 779 artículos de las tres revistas antes mencionadas. De ellas 293 eran mujeres como autoras principales de artículos y 488 eran hombres. La relación hombre mujer fue de 1.71 en la Revista Mexicana, 1.84 en la Colombiana y 1.38 para la Cubana. La mayoría de los editoriales fueron escritos en la Revistas Colombiana y Mexicana por hombres mientras que en la Revista Cubana predominaron las mujeres. Así también se comportaron los originales, los artículos de revisión y los casos clínicos. Conclusiones: Las mujeres anestesiólogas publican 2.6 veces menos artículos que los hombres, hecho que se confirmó en las tres revistas analizadas, por lo que en el área se mantiene la brecha de género en las publicaciones científicas de la especialidad.
... From the brief review of the relevant literature, the following emerges: One, the results obtained were mixed, which calls for greater research; our paper addresses this call (e.g., Ovseiko et al., 2016) (inclusion of gender in the assessment of impactful research). Second, to our knowledge, no study has employed the Theory of Reasoned Action (TRA) in conjunction with gender, and we fill this gap. ...
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Purpose This study examines the role of gender as a moderator on the relationships between subjective norm on attitude and purchase intention and attitude on purchase intention by using the Theory of Reasoned Action (TRA) among organic food consumers. Methodology Data is collected using a crowdsourcing platform called Amazon's Mechanical Turk (MTurk). The respondents are organic food consumers (N = 633) from the US. The proposed model is tested using AMOS by covariance-based structural equation modelling and tested for multi-group moderation. Findings The model is fit. The results of multi-group moderation show that gender moderates the two relationships: subjective norm on attitude and attitude on purchase intention, but not the third one, i.e., subjective norm and attitude. All the direct hypotheses are supported. This research found that males and females differ in purchasing intention toward organic food. Originality This is the first study in the organic food context that tested subjective norm – attitude, attitude – purchase intention, and subjective norm—attitude using the theory of reasoned action.
... [7][8][9][10][11][12][13][14][15][16][17][18][19][20] In many countries, women enter medical school in similar numbers, 10 develop a similar interest in research 21 and have similar leadership aspirations as men. 22 Yet, women may experience the constraints of traditional gender roles, 23 gender bias in academic career structures, tenure and promotion criteria, and research funding, 24 as well as sexual harassment. 25 26 There are further reports of negative aspects of culture in academic medicine, 27 a lack of mentors and role models 28 and limited advancement opportunities 29 that affect all genders, but more so women. ...
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Full-text available
Objectives Evidence on the current status of gender equity in academic rheumatology in Europe and potential for its improvement is limited. The EULAR convened a task force to obtain empirical evidence on the potential unmet need for support of female rheumatologists, health professionals and non-clinical scientists in academic rheumatology. Methods This cross-sectional study comprised three web-based surveys conducted in 2020 among: (1) EULAR scientific member society leaders, (2) EULAR and Emerging EULAR Network (EMEUNET) members and (3) EULAR Council members. Statistics were descriptive with significance testing for male/female responses assessed by χ ² test and t-test. Results Data from EULAR scientific member societies in 13 countries indicated that there were disproportionately fewer women in academic rheumatology than in clinical rheumatology, and they tended to be under-represented in senior academic roles. From 324 responses of EULAR and EMEUNET members (24 countries), we detected no gender differences in leadership aspirations, self-efficacy in career advancement and work–life integration as well as the share of time spent on research, but there were gender differences in working hours and the levels of perceived gender discrimination and sexual harassment. There were gender differences in the ranking of 7 of 26 factors impacting career advancement and of 8 of 24 potential interventions to aid career advancement. Conclusions There are gender differences in career advancement in academic rheumatology. The study informs a EULAR task force developing a framework of potential interventions to accelerate gender-equitable career advancement in academic rheumatology.
... Diversity and inclusivity in STEMM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine) have become highly debated topics in the scientific community, identifying pervasive and systemic inequalities that have limited the participation of different communities globally (Potvin et al. 2018;Stirling 2007). Gender parity has become a foundational objective to promote the democratization of the scientific endeavor (Ceci and Williams 2011;Ceci, Williams, and Barnett 2009;Harding and Societies 1986;Pell 1996;Rossi 1965), opening a novel line of research that has gained increasing momentum in recent decades (Clark Blickenstaff 2005;Jones et al. 2014;Ley and Hamilton 2008;Meyer, Cimpian, and Leslie 2015;Moss-Racusin et al. 2012;Ovseiko et al. 2016;Smeding 2012;Weeden, Thébaud, and Gelbgiser 2017). From access to education and training (Christie et al. 2017), job security (e.g. ...
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Equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) in the workforce are paramount for the betterment of the scientific endeavor. Colombia is a country with great scientific potential, but also multiple long-lasting socioeconomical difficulties. Here, we provide a quantitative analysis of the temporal trajectories of gender parity in scientific publishing in Colombia. Data was dissected based on education level, researcher's rank and research area, in order to elucidate differential patterns of scientific publishing. We controlled for gender-based differences in number of researchers by quantifying per capita scientific productivity. Our results show widespread gender disparity in scientific publishing persistent across time. Gender-based differences in per capita scientific publishing indicate that gender disparity persists even after controlling for differences in the number of researchers. Temporal trajectories revealed a decrease in women publishing in the medical sciences and a widening of the per capita publishing gender gap. Women senior researchers and women researchers with doctoral degrees had the lowest publishing participation within their group, suggesting access to postgraduate education or entering the workforce in themselves do not prevent women from being underrepresented. We highlight the need to understand the problem of underrepresentation in science and possible ways to address it beyond increasing the number of women researchers.
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School engagement is considered a key variable in promoting educational trajectories. Previous research shows that maintaining high levels of school engagement is fundamental, given its association with multiple academic results and lower-risk behaviors. This article aims to show how school engagement profiles (based on the behavioral, affective, and cognitive subdimensions) relate to academic achievement (math and language), contextual factors (family, teachers, and peer support), and gender. This study involved 527 students enrolled in the 1st year of secondary education in public schools in Chile. All students came from vulnerable schools. Our study used cluster analysis to identify students’ profiles. We identified the existence of three different profiles of school engagement (high, medium, and low) considering the three subdimensions of school engagement (behavioral, affective and cognitive). Secondly, ANOVA analysis showed differences in language and math academic achievement scores between the profiles, where higher engagement students showed higher academic performance in language and math. These findings are consistent with previous studies showing that contextual factors strongly influence school engagement and better behavioral engagement in female than male students. It will discuss the pertinence of person-centered approaches focusing on combinations of variables within students rather than taking each variable as the focal point when analyzing goals. These techniques are a favorable methodological alternative to investigate why some students have better results than others instead of just ranking students by their performance. It will conclude with some future lines of research and practical implications.
Purpose of the review: Our aim is to discuss the concepts of sex and gender in the context of thyroid cancer epidemiology. Recent findings: It has been long-established in global epidemiologic data that thyroid cancer incidence rates are higher in women than men. However, what has been less well understood is whether this reflects sex disparities in cancer susceptibility, gender disparities in detection, or a combination. A recent meta-analysis of autopsy data from individuals who were not known to have thyroid cancer in their lifetime demonstrated no difference in the prevalence of thyroid cancer in women and men, suggesting that gender differences may be the reason for gender-based differences in thyroid cancer detection. This finding, and sex differences in auto immunity and other factors that may affect cancer susceptibility are explored. Summary: Additional research to explore gender- and sex-specific data on thyroid cancer would inform our understanding of the differences and similarities between men and women in susceptibility and detection of thyroid cancer and help to optimize disease management for all genders and both sexes.
Chapter
Both Human Rights and United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals make clear that addressing the challenge of achieving an inclusive precision medicine, which does not leave women behind, is not a question of choice but a must. In this regard, the biomedical, artificial intelligence, and clinical research fields have a unique opportunity to make a difference. Yet, attaining those rights and goals implies acknowledging that not everyone has the same opportunities and outcomes in health. This has been well explored by the literature on social determinants of health, which points to differences in health status and outcomes as affected by socioeconomic factors, such as socioeconomic status, geographical location, and education. Sex and gender are the key factors, and current scientific literature has already reported specific ways in which they affect health status and experiences with the health system, in terms of negatively influencing access, diagnosis, and treatment. When various socioeconomic factors coincide, as it happens in women from ethnic minorities living in poverty, then outcomes are even worse. Likewise, gender myths, stereotypes, and false assumptions have a negative impact on girls’ and adult women's health. Algorithms employed and applied to precision medicine must take all this knowledge about various socioeconomic circumstances, inequalities in health, age, sex, and gender differences specific to some diseases, to overcome the so-called sex and gender blindness of medical research and practice, allowing precision medicine to be inclusive of all patient groups, including women.
Article
Full-text available
Objectives Cardiovascular disease is one of the leading causes of mortality and morbidity in women. Despite this, even in contemporary research, female patients are poorly represented in trials. This study aimed to explore reasons behind the sex disparity in heart failure (HF) trials. Methods HF trials published in seven high-impact clinical journals (impact factor >20), between 2000 and 2020, were identified. Trials with over 300 participants of both sexes were included. Large HF registries, as well as population statistics, were also identified using the same criteria. Results We identified 146 HF trials, which included 248 620 patients in total. The median proportion of female patients was 25.8%, with the lowest proportions seen in trials enrolling patients with ischaemic cardiomyopathy (17.9%), severe systolic dysfunction (left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) <35%) (21.4%) and those involving an invasive procedure (21.1%). The highest proportion of women was seen in trials assessing HF with preserved LVEF (51.6%), as well as trials including older participants (40.5%). Significant differences were seen between prevalence of female trial participants and population prevalence in all LVEF categories (25.8% vs 49.0%, p<0.01). Conclusions A significant sex disparity was identified in HF trials, most visible in trials assessing patients with severely reduced LVEF and ischaemic aetiology. This is likely due to a complex interplay between enrolment bias and biological variation. Furthermore, the degree of both these aspects may vary according to trial type. Going forward, we should encourage all HF trials to appraise their recruitment log and suggest reasons for any reported sex disparity.
Book
03 Sandra Harding here develops further the themes first addressed in her widely influential book, The Science Question in Feminism, and conducts a compelling analysis of feminist theories on the philosophical problem of how we know what we know. Following a strong narrative line, Harding sets out her arguments in highly readable prose. In Part 1, she discusses issues that will interest anyone concerned with the social bases of scientific knowledge. In Part 2, she modifies some of her views and then pursues the many issues raised by the feminist position which holds that women's social experience provides a unique vantage point for discovering masculine bias and and questioning conventional claims about nature and social life. In Part 3, Harding looks at the insights that people of color, male feminists, lesbians, and others can bring to these controversies, and concludes by outlining a feminist approach to science in which these insights are central. "Women and men cannot understand or explain the world we live in or the real choices we have," she writes, "as long as the sciences describe and explain the world primarily from the perspectives of the lives of the dominant groups." Harding's is a richly informed, radical voice that boldly confronts issues of crucial importance to the future of many academic disciplines. Her book will amply reward readers looking to achieve a more fruitful understanding of the relations between feminism, science, and social life.
Chapter
Book synopsis: The literature in female entrepreneurship has witnessed significant development in the last 30 years, with the research emphasis shifting from purely descriptive explorations towards a clear effort to embed research within highly informed conceptual frameworks. With contributions from leading and emerging researchers, The Routledge Companion to Global Female Entrepreneurship brings together the latest international research, concepts and thinking in the area. With a strong international dimension, this book will facilitate comparative discussion and analysis on all aspects of female entrepreneurship, including start-ups, socio-economic influences, entrepreneurial capital and minority entrepreneurship. Reflecting the subject’s growing importance for researchers, academics and policy makers as well as those involved in supporting women’s entrepreneurship through training programmes, networks, consultancy or the provision of venture capital, The Routledge Companion to Global Female Entrepreneurship will be an invaluable reference resource.
Book
Feminism, Science, and the Philosophy of Science brings together original essays by both feminist and mainstream philosophers of science that examine issues at the intersections of feminism, science, and the philosophy of science. Contributors explore parallels and tensions between feminist approaches to science and other approaches in the philosophy of science and more general science studies. In so doing, they explore notions at the heart of the philosophy of science, including the nature of objectivity, truth, evidence, cognitive agency, scientific method, and the relationship between science and values.
Chapter
Over the past decade, three major developments have taken place in the discipline of women’s health studies. First, the concept of women and health has shifted into the concept of gender and health, which explicitly includes men and the social construction of masculinity. Women’s health studies has widened its scope to include the health of men, not only because men generally have lower life expectancy than women, but also because alcohol abuse, traffic accidents, suicides and drug addiction in men are largely attributed to traditional gender-role patterns and social conceptions of masculinity (Mansfield et al., 2003; see also Chapter 14 by Hunt et al. and Chapter 16 by Schofield). © Ellen Kuhlmann and Ellen Annandale 2010, 2012. All rights reserved.
Chapter
Over the past decade, three major developments have taken place in the discipline of women’s health studies. First, the concept of women and health has shifted into the concept of gender and health, which explicitly includes men and the social construction of masculinity. Women’s health studies has widened its scope to include the health of men, not only because men generally have lower life expectancy than women, but also because alcohol abuse, traffic accidents, suicides and drug addiction in men are largely attributed to traditional gender-role patterns and social conceptions of masculinity (Mansfield et al., 2003; see also Chapter 12 by Hunt et al. and Chapter 14 by Schofield). © Ellen Kuhlmann and Ellen Annandale 2010. and their respective authors 2010