Women in Cardiology in Australia-Are We Making Any Progress?

Affiliation

Department of Cardiology, Barwon Health, Geelong, Vic, Australia. Electronic address: [Email]

Abstract

Women remain largely under-represented in cardiology worldwide, despite gender parity among medical graduates. This is particularly notable in procedural subspecialties such as interventional cardiology and electrophysiology and is consistent at all levels of training. Cardiology continues to have the lowest proportion of females of all adult medicine specialties. This is a review of existing literature and statistics pertaining to women in cardiology and highlights the relative paucity of data or publications within Australia. Australian data from the Medical Training Review Panel reported that the proportion of females in cardiology advanced training (˜22%) has not changed over the last 9 years and that there is a significant attrition as trainees progress through the various stages of training. In 2018, females represent only 16% of first year cardiology advanced trainees in Victoria and Tasmania. This represents a decrease from 20-25% in previous years. The factors affecting gender parity in cardiology are complex and diverse, from personal reasons such as family planning, work-life balance and perceived gender bias, to recruitment inertia and an imbalance in opportunities for career progression, research, financial remuneration and leadership positions. Worldwide, a number of initiatives have been explored to address the gender divide in cardiology, including networking and mentorship programs and Women in Cardiology working groups, dedicated to addressing the issue of female under-representation in cardiology. Unfortunately, the progress we are seeing worldwide is not being realised in Australia. A collaborative approach is essential to achieve gender parity in cardiology. This involves introspection and accountability by College bodies and policy changes committed to promoting workplace diversity by welcoming and retaining female talent. We must recognise and address the current barriers and support women pursuing a career in cardiology.

Keywords

Gender disparities,Gender diversity,Recruitment inertia,Women in Cardiology,

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