Women have entered the profession of medicine and science at increasing numbers over the past five decades. The challenges they have encountered in their careers are well-documented and have resulted in significant losses of talent that could otherwise contribute to patient care, education, innovation, and discovery. Numerous published studies underscore that the mere increase in the number of women alone has not translated into anticipated outcomes in terms of leadership, equity, and cultural shift. While there has been notable progress, exemplified by the accomplished women in prominent national positions, much work remains to achieve the equitable outcomes necessary for a workforce that harnesses the full spectrum of talent in our communities. The GEMS ALLIANCE is dedicated to taking action: engaging organizations with like-minded concerns to actively address known barriers and pave the way for positive change.

For more than twenty years, women have been admitted to graduate and medical schools in numbers equivalent to or greater than men.

Sources: AAMC and National Science

Yet, the women students admitted do not reflect the diverse communities of the US. An example of this gap, one that only shows data for Black and Latina women, is seen in this graph. Beyond these simple numbers, are the socioeconomic, geographic, and many other identities and characteristics that are so necessary for the diverse workforce needed in medicine and science today and for the future.

2022 Percentage of Women in Medical School (51.8%)

2022 Percentage of Women in the US Population (51.9%)

Once women graduate from medical school (and likewise the PhD programs in scientific disciplines, data not shown), the medical specialties they enter remain significantly unbalanced. In some instances, specialties become predominantly female, while others remain predominantly male. This imbalance diminishes the potential for equity for the workforce and for patient care.

National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics, Survey of Earned Doctorates.

Within academia, where the policies, culture, and resources are set, women have been slow to reach significant numbers at the highest level. These numbers do not reflect those that would be anticipated from the numbers of women who have entered our schools, programs, and faculties. The reasons are myriad, but need to be addressed