Despite growing recognition of the importance of workforce diversity in health care, limited research has explored diversity among eating disorder (ED) professionals globally. This multi-methods study examined diversity across demographic and professional variables. Participants were recruited from ED and discipline-specific professional organizations. Participants’ (n = 512) mean age was 41.1 years (SD = 12.5); 89.6% (n=459) of participants identified as women, 84.1% (n = 419) as heterosexual/straight, and 73.0% (n = 365) as White. Mean years working in EDs was 10.7 years (SD = 9.2). Qualitative analysis revealed three themes resulting in a theoretical framework to address barriers to increasing diversity. Perceived barriers were the following: “stigma, bias, stereotypes, myths”; “field of eating disorders pipeline”; and “homogeneity of the existing field.” Findings suggest limited workforce diversity within and across nations. The theoretical model suggests a need for focused attention to the educational pipeline, workforce homogeneity, and false assumptions about EDs, and it should be tested to evaluate its utility within the EDs field.
- eating disorders
ASJC Scopus subject areas