Most editorial board members of radiology societies around the world are men

Most editorial board members of the world’s largest radiology societies are men, according to new findings published in the American Journal of Roentgenology. This finding is consistent with prior research exploring gender disparities in the specialty.

The study’s authors explored data from international radiology societies that had an impact factor of 1.0 or more per the 2016 Journal Citations Report. To avoid certain geographical areas influencing the numbers, when an area had more than one society that had an impact factor of 1.0 or more, the one with the highest impact factor was used for the study. The final cohort included six societies: the Radiological Society of North America, the Canadian Association of Radiologists, the European Society of Radiology, the British Institute of Radiology, the Korean Society of Radiology and the Australian Society of Medical Imaging and Radiation Therapy. 

The journal editorial boards of these societies, according to their January 2018 mastheads, were included in the study. Twenty of 480 editorial board members were excluded for various reasons.  

Overall, 80.8% of the editorial board members were men. There were more men than women in every editorial board. Looking at certain positions within those boards, the researchers only noted one position—breast imaging associate editor—that was held by more women (7) than men (4). Men also had a higher median total number of publications (110 vs. 65) and a longer median publishing history (22.5 years vs. 18 years) than women.

“Women radiologists are underrepresented globally, especially in the United States, where this gender gap is most distinguished,” wrote author Waleed Abdellatif, MD, department of radiology at Vancouver General Hospital, and colleagues. “Consistent with the gender proportions in radiology in general, the present study identified significant gender disparities within the editorial boards of the largest international radiologic societies. Male editorial board members tend to have longer publishing careers and a higher total number of publications than female editorial board members.”

The researchers wrote about numerous ways to increase the number of women on editorial boards, “including personalized training and feedback (especially at the beginning of academic careers), inclusion of reviewer activities when promotion is considered, formal woman-to-woman academic mentoring systems, and chairs and individuals who are in positions to influence such decisions actively and consciously promote women to parity (at least) in terms of editorial responsibilities.”