Gender-diverse teams produce more novel and higher-impact scientific ideas

Yang Yang, Tanya Y. Tian, Teresa K. Woodruff, Benjamin F. Jones, Brian Uzzi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Scopus citations


Science’s changing demographics raise new questions about research team diversity and research outcomes. We study mixed-gender research teams, examining 6.6 million papers published across the medical sciences since 2000 and establishing several core findings. First, the fraction of publications by mixed-gender teams has grown rapidly, yet mixed-gender teams continue to be underrepresented compared to the expectations of a null model. Second, despite their underrepresentation, the publications of mixed-gender teams are substantially more novel and impactful than the publications of same-gender teams of equivalent size. Third, the greater the gender balance on a team, the better the team scores on these performance measures. Fourth, these patterns generalize across medical subfields. Finally, the novelty and impact advantages seen with mixed-gender teams persist when considering numerous controls and potential related features, including fixed effects for the individual researchers, team structures, and network positioning, suggesting that a team’s gender balance is an underrecognized yet powerful correlate of novel and impactful scientific discoveries.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere2200841119
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number36
StatePublished - Sep 6 2022


  • computational social science
  • gender inequality
  • innovation
  • team science

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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