Aims: To investigate trends in representation of women among authors and editorial boards of surgical pathology journals over the last two decades.Secondary aims: to identify barriers and potential solutions.
Methods: The names and gender of first, middle, last authors and editorial board members were obtained from original articles from seven pathology journals from various geopolitical regions in 2002, 2011 and 2021. The proportion of women first, middle, last authors and editorial board members were compared over time.
Results: 1097 publications and 8012 individual authors were extracted. In 2002, 2011 and 2021, respectively, the percentage of women first authors were 28.3% (257 of 907), 31.9% (566 of 1773) and 41.1% (1421 of 3457); women middle authorship rates were 30.0% (159 of 530), 32.8% (375 of 1145) and 40.9% (1067 of 2609) and women last authors were 18.0% (34 of 188), 26.0% (82 of 315) and 36.0% (152 of 422). Women representation on editorial boards has increased (11.3%, 15.8%, 26.5%), but of the chief editors, there was only one woman in 2021, while all were men in 2002 and 2011.
Conclusions: To our knowledge, this study is the first to document under-representation of women among authors and editorial boards of surgical pathology journals. While women representation has increased over time, predominance of men remains relative to workforce proportions. Our findings are comparable to those from other medical fields and prompt the need to investigate the underlying causes for this imbalance and implement strategies to promote diversity, equity and inclusion in academic surgical pathology.
Keywords: Demography; Education, Medical; Pathology, Surgical.
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