Gender Disparity and Potential Strategies for Improvement in Neurology and Clinical Neurophysiology

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Discrimination in the workplace when documented is illegal but is seen to still exist in some forms whether based on culture, race, or gender. Each of these disparities warrants further discussion and study because of their significant impacts on hiring decisions, career advancement, and compensation. In this article, the authors have focused their attention on gender disparity in the fields of neurology and clinical neurophysiology and shared the data currently available to them. At a time when the field of clinical neurophysiology has seen enormous growth, gender disparity in leadership and compensation remain. Despite the increasing number of women entering the fields of neurology and clinical neurophysiology, women remain underrepresented in national leadership positions. Many women physicians report experiencing gender discrimination despite increasing efforts by universities and medical centers to improve inclusivity and diversity. Equity and inclusivity are not the same and there is a disconnect between the increased numbers of women and their shared experiences in the workplace. Implicit bias undermines the ability of women to advance in their careers. For neurologists, data indicate that the latest gender pay gap is $56,000 (24%), increased from $37,000 in 2015, and is one of the largest pay gaps in any medical specialty. One third of the top 12 medical schools in the United States require that maternity leave be taken through disability coverage and/or sick benefits, and most family leave policies constrain benefits to the discretion of departmental leadership. The authors recommend strategies to improve gender disparity include institutional training to Identify and overcome biases, changes to professional organizations and national scientific meeting structure, transparency in academic hiring, promotion and compensation, and mentorship and sponsorship programs.

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Journal of clinical neurophysiology : official publication of the American Electroencephalographic Society







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