Bridging the Gap: Identifying Global Trends in Gender Disparity Among the Radiology Physician Workforce

Sarah Wallace Cater*, Sora C. Yoon, Dorothy A. Lowell, James C. Campbell, Gary Sulioti, Rosie Qin, Brian Jiang, Lars J. Grimm

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Rationale and Objectives: Women make up half of American medical school graduates, but remain underrepresented among radiologists. This study sought to determine whether workforce gender disparities exist in other countries, and to identify any country-specific indices associated with increased female representation. Materials and Methods: In this cross-sectional study, 95 professional radiology organizations in 75 countries were contacted via email to provide membership statistics, including proportion of female members, female members aged 35 or under, and women in society leadership positions. Country-specific metrics collected included gross domestic product, Gini index, percent female medical school enrollment, and Gender Development Index for the purposes of univariate multiple regression analysis. Results: Twenty-nine organizations provided data on 184,888 radiologists, representing 26 countries from Europe (n = 12), North America (n = 2), Central/South America (n = 6), Oceania (n = 2), Asia (n = 3), and Africa (n = 1) for a response rate of 34.7% (26/75). Globally, 33.5% of radiologists are female. Women constitute a higher proportion of younger radiologists, with 48.5% of radiologists aged 35 or under being female. Female representation in radiology is lowest in the United States (27.2%), highest in Thailand (85.0%), and most variable in Europe (mean 40.1%, range 28.8%–68.9%). The proportion of female radiologists was positively associated with a country's Gender Development Index (P =.006), percent female medical student enrollment (P =.001), and Gini index (P =.002), and negatively associated with gross domestic product (P =.03). Conclusions: Women are underrepresented in radiology globally, most notably in the United States. Countries with greater representation of women had higher gender equality and percent female medical school enrollment, suggesting these factors may play a role in the gender gap.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1052-1061
Number of pages10
JournalAcademic radiology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Gender
  • equality
  • female
  • international
  • workforce

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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