Washington D.C, Dec 17 : Men with moustaches significantly outnumber women in academic medical leadership positions in the top medical schools across the US, according to a new study.
The number of women in medicine has risen significantly in recent times. Almost 50 percent of the US medical students are women, but the proportion of women in academic medicine is still low with only 21 percent full professors being women.
The lack of women in leadership positions is a problem because of the ‘strong ethical argument for equality’ and also because in business having more women leaders has been linked with better performance, say the US team of researchers who conducted the study.
Results showed that women accounted for 13 percent of department leader positions, while moustachioed men accounted for 19percent of department leader positions.
Furthermore, the proportion of women department leaders ranged from 0-26 percent across institutions, and 0-36 percent across specialties.
The researchers suggest employers should adopt policies against discrimination and sexual harassment, introduce family benefits, offer paid parental leave, mentorship and tenure clock extensions.
Furthermore, they suggest predefining hiring criteria for the recruitment of women and allowing women flexibility in scheduling their work, including job sharing and shiftwork.
“We hope that these solutions will help increase moustache indices across all specialties by raising the number of women leaders while maintaining sufficient facial hair in our workplaces,” they conclude.
The study is published in The BMJ. (ANI)