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Interdisciplinary Committee on Organizational Studies - ICOS pres.

Ensuring Safe and Equitable Environments for Women in Academic Medicine

Reshma Jagsi, U of M Raditation Oncology

Issues of gender equity in the profession of medicine have garnered increased attention in recent years, especially in the wake of the #metoo movement. Some evidence suggests that medicine is exceptional in some ways in comparison to other fields, even within the sciences. For example, a recent report from the US National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine suggested that female medical students are 220% more likely than students from non-STEM disciplines to experience sexual harassment. Given the tremendous power and influence of the medical profession, Dr. Jagsi will argue that we must study these issues carefully. Doing so can offer a unique lens with which to understand the broader forces driving inequity in society more generally and help to illuminate possible levers for influencing broader societal attitudes and behaviors. As a scholar whose research has long focused on understanding the mechanisms leading to inequity in the medical profession, Dr. Jagsi will begin by providing an overview of the patterns of women's participation in the profession of medicine. She will then describe studies led by her team and others that have investigated the drivers of women's persistent under-representation among the leaders of the medical profession, even in an era when half of all medical students are female. These include myriad complex challenges, including gendered expectations, unconscious bias, and overt discrimination and harassment. She conclude by discussing innovative interventions that have been implemented to begin the process of cultural transformation in medicine, in the hopes that they may also provide inspiration for initiatives in other settings.

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