The Leadership Landscape: The Role of Gender in Current Leadership Positions in Obstetrics and Gynecology Departments

Deepanjana Das*, Julia Geynisman-Tan, Margaret Mueller, Kimberly Kenton

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Study Objective: To describe the proportion of female faculty in departmental administrative and educational leadership roles in Obstetrics and Gynecology departments. Design: Cross-sectional observational study (II-3). Setting: Accredited Obstetrics and Gynecology residency programs. Participants: A total of 288 accredited residency programs were identified from 2019 to 2020 with 1237 individuals in leadership positions. Interventions: Similar to a 2012 to 2013 survey by Hofler et al, residency program websites and corresponding fellowships (Maternal Fetal Medicine, Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery, Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility, and Gynecologic Oncology), departmental websites, and divisional websites were queried for those in administrative and educational leadership positions. Information regarding gender (as determined by the surrogates of name and photographic gender expression), medical and academic degrees, academic rank, and subspecialty certification was abstracted. Measurements and Main Results: Within administrative leadership roles, women comprised 29% of chairs, 46% of vice chairs, and 47% of division directors, all significantly lower than men in administrative leadership (p <.001). In educational leadership, women made up 71% of medical school clerkship directors, 58% of residency directors, and 50% fellowship directors. Women were more likely to hold educational leadership positions (56% vs 40%; p <.001), although men were more likely to hold administrative leadership positions (68% vs 52%; p <.001). Among subspecialties, there was greatest gender equity within Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery. Female leaders were more likely to have received additional academic degrees (e.g. MBA, MPH) than their male counterparts (19% vs 13%; p = .002). Conclusion: Women continue to be underrepresented in administrative leadership positions. Compared with 2012 to 2013, there is only a 9% increase in proportion of women chairing and 10% vice chairing Obstetrics and Gynecology departments; however, the increase is more substantial in other positions, such as division directors (17%). Our findings demonstrate ongoing gender disparity in the highest levels of departmental leadership and the need to further improve on diversity and gender equity within leadership roles.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)952-960
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Minimally Invasive Gynecology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2022


  • Academic medicine
  • Gender
  • Leadership

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


Dive into the research topics of 'The Leadership Landscape: The Role of Gender in Current Leadership Positions in Obstetrics and Gynecology Departments'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this