A woman is a female human. The term woman is usually reserved for an adult, with the term girl being the usual term for a female child or adolescent. However, the term woman is also sometimes used to identify a female human, regardless of age.

“Woman” may also refer to a person's gender instead of their sex. Women are typically capable of giving birth from puberty until menopause, although some sterile, intersex and/or transgender women cannot. Throughout history women have assumed various social roles. In some cultures, a majority of women have adopted specific appearances, such as those regulated by dress codes.

Women report lower levels of professional satisfaction in academic practice compared with men. Given the increasing pressures of academic practice, efforts to align work-life balance and professional goals could potentially improve faculty satisfaction and retention 1).

The objective of a study was to evaluate whether there are disparities in academic rank and promotion between men and women neurosurgeons.

The profiles of faculty members from 50 academic neurosurgery programs were reviewed to identify years in practice, number of PubMed-indexed publications, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) attainment, and academic rank. The number of publications at each academic rank was compared between men and women after controlling for years in practice by using a negative binomial regression model. The relationship between gender and each academic rank was also determined after controlling for clustering at the institutional level, years in practice, and number of publications.

Of 841 faculty members identified, 761 (90%) were men (p = 0.0001). Women represented 12% of the assistant and associate professors but only 4% of the full professors. Men and women did not differ in terms of the percentage holding a PhD, years in practice, or number of publications at any academic rank. After controlling for years in practice and clustering at the facility level, the authors found that men were twice as likely as women to be named full professor (OR 2.2, 95% CI 1.09-4.44, p = 0.03). However, when institution, years in practice, PhD attainment, h-index, and number of publications were considered, men and women were equally likely to attain full professorship (OR 0.9, 95% CI 0.42-1.93).

Data analysis of the top neurosurgery programs suggests that although there are fewer women than men holding positions in academic neurosurgery, faculty rank attainment does not seem to be influenced by gender 2).

Waljee JF, Chang KW, Kim HM, Gyetko MR, Quint EH, Lukacs NW, Woolliscroft JO, Chung KC. Gender Disparities in Academic Practice. Plast Reconstr Surg. 2015 Sep;136(3):380e-387e. PubMed PMID: 26313843.
Dossani RH, Terrell D, Kosty JA, Ross RC, Demand A, Wild E, Peterson R, Ngwenya LB, Benzil DL, Notarianni C. Gender disparities in academic rank achievement in neurosurgery: a critical assessment. J Neurosurg. 2019 Nov 8:1-6. doi: 10.3171/2019.8.JNS191219. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 31703191.
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