While urology has historically been a male dominated field, the number of female urologists is increasing. In 2015 women made up 7.7% of practicing urologists and 17.1% of urologists younger than age 45 years. In the medical field overall females have been markedly underrepresented in leadership positions. We assess the current prevalence of women in urological leadership roles.
Using data from the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education, and society and journal leadership boards, we compiled a list of editorial staff, boards of directors, department chairs and program directors in July 2016. Queried societies included the American Board of Urology, American Urological Association, Society of Genitourinary Reconstructive Surgeons, Societies for Pediatric Urology, Society of Urologic Oncology, Society of Academic Urologists, Society of Urodynamics, Female Pelvic Medicine and Urogenital Reconstruction, and the Large Urology Group Practice Association. Editorial boards examined were from The Journal of Urology® and Urology. We also included committee members who wrote American Urological Association guidelines between 2011 and 2016.
Women represent 10% of leadership positions in the queried organizations and are underrepresented in advanced leadership positions. There were no women on the American Urological Association board of directors and women made up 1.6% of department chairs. Of the committees 76% included at least 1 woman. Overall, 75% of women on committees were urologists. By comparison, 95% of men on committees were urologists.
Overall, women are fairly represented in a broad cross-section of leadership roles. Women are less well represented in the upper echelon of urological leadership, especially department chairs.
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