Posts Tagged ‘statistics’

The Gender Gap in Healthcare—Our Stories Behind the Statistics

I was shocked by the experiences Linda Brodsky MD shared when she spoke at an AAUW event about gender discrimination in her medical profession. She’s become a crusader for women in medicine–you’ll see why in this guest post, and we should all cheer her on. Be sure to check out her blog and share your story with her.

Today women comprise more than 50% of medical students, 40% of resident trainees and by the end of 2010, 30% of physicians. Could it be that we’re finally closing the gender gap in medicine? No. And nothing is further from the truth. Until women decision and policy makers are leading the discussion at the table (or on the bench), women will not become impactful leaders soon enough, contrary to what these overly optimistic statistics suggest.

From the halls of medical academia to the editorial boards of medical journals, from the ranks of organized medicine to the NIH committees that judge research worthiness, the number of women are much fewer than they should be. Where are all the women leaders?

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Women, Ambition, and Barrier Breaking

In my previous post suggesting an “Obama for Women” agenda, I suggested Barack Obama incorporate an initiative to pass the Equal Rights Amendment, which was first introduced in 1923 and still hasn’t been ratified into the Constitution. John has posted a couple of times to say that he sees giving equality to women under the law as imposing one morality on all. Further, he’s pointed out that women are 51% of the population, so we should act like the majority we are and know our own power.

Though his first point is ludicrous, the second raises some questions worth considering. I began to ask some of them in an article I wrote for Elle magazine’s upcoming September edition (time out for self-promotion: check newsstands the first week in August). In my research, I found that political doors are now open for women, but women aren’t walking through them, let alone racing through them toward parity in elected office as I’d like to see. So when my friend and WomenGirlsLadies panel colleague Deborah Siegel asked me to guest post on her Girl With Pen blog while she’s off getting married, I decided to ask some tough questions which I will cross post here on Heartfeldt. To wit, and I look forward to your thoughts as to the why and what’s to be done about it:

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By the Numbers: U.S. Women in Political Leadership

WOMEN & POLITICS FACTS*

Facts are facts, but facts always subject to interpretation. Many think tanks and pundits have asked the question: “Why are women still so underepresented in political office, especially at the highest levels?

Officeholders

  • Women hold 87, or 16.3%, of the 535 seats in the 110th US Congress
  • Women currently make up 23.5% of state legislatures
  • There are nine women governors
  • The United States ranks 67th internationally in women’s political representation**

Voting Behavior

  • Women, who make up 52% of the population, are more likely to vote than men
  • 67.3 million women reported voting in 2004, 8.8 million more than men
  • Approximately 35 million eligible women didn’t vote on election day 2004

*Center for American Women and Politics (CAWP), Eagleton Institute of Politics, Rutgers University
**Inter-Parliamentary Union

How would you interpret these numbers?

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