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Women Less Likely to Be Full Professors Than Men

And male grant applicants report significantly higher startup support compared with females

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 16, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- In academic medicine, women are less likely to be full professors than men and have less startup funding than men, according to two studies published in the Sept. 15 issue of JAMA.

Anupam B. Jena, M.D., Ph.D., from Harvard Medical School in Boston, and colleagues used a cross-sectional database to examine sex differences in faculty rank among U.S. academic physicians. The researchers identified 30,464 women who were medical faculty versus 60,609 men. Overall, 11.9 and 28.6 percent of women and men, respectively, had full-professor appointments; after multivariable adjustment, women were less likely to have achieved full-professor status than men. Sex differences in full professorship were seen across all specialties.

Robert Sege, M.D., Ph.D., from Health Resources in Action in Boston, and colleagues compared support for male and female grant applicants using application data from two New England biomedical research programs. The researchers found that men reported significantly higher startup support than women (median $889,000 versus $350,000). Support of more than $1 million was reported by 51 men and 11 women (40 versus 12 percent). Men had higher support regardless of degree, but a statistically significant difference was seen only for those with PhDs. Significantly more startup support was reported by men than women in basic sciences.

"This first look suggests the need for systematic study of sex differences in institutional support and the relationship to career trajectories," Sege and colleagues write.

Abstract -- Jena
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Abstract -- Sege
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