Gender & Racial/Ethnic Disparities in Academic Oncology Leadership

G. P. Jones, N. Dhawan, A. Chowdhary, T. J. Royce, K. Patel, A. M. Chhabra, M. A. Knoll, C. Deville, K. M. Winkfield, N. Vapiwala, N. Duma, M. Chowdhary

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


PURPOSE/OBJECTIVE(S): Gender & racial/ethnic leadership disparities have been independently identified in academic hematology/oncology (HO) and radiation oncology (RO). Here, we evaluate gender and racial/ethnic intersectionality from the trainee to the leadership level. MATERIALS/METHODS: All ACGME accredited HO and RO training program websites were queried to identify constituent trainees, academic faculty, program directors (PD) and department chairs (DC), with a leadership position defined as PD or DC. Individual gender & race/ethnicity was determined using externally validated software tools, publicly available descriptors, and image review. We grouped individuals into 6 categories: White Male (WM), White Female (WF), Asian Male (AM), Asian Female (AF), Underrepresented Groups in Medicine (as defined by AAMC) Male (URMM) and Female (URMF). The chi-squared goodness-of-fit test was applied to examine if deviations exist between the observed vs. expected proportions of gender/race dyads in trainees, PD, and DC compared to academic faculty. RESULTS: We identified 7,722 individuals from 2019-2020: 1,759 trainees (HO = 1525; RO = 234), 5,726 faculty (HO = 4834; RO = 892), 242 PD (HO = 149; RO = 93) and 237 DC (HO = 144; RO = 93). Leadership positions were most often comprised by WM (52.6%), and least often comprised by URMF (2.9%). Combined HO/RO analysis revealed significant differences in the observed representation of trainees & DC vs expected levels based on total faculty, respectively: WM (33.7% & 60.3% vs. 42.3%), WF (19.2% & 13.9% vs. 22.3%), AM (20.75% & 16.9% vs. 16.4%), AF (17.9% & 2.5% vs. 12.7%), URMM (4.09% & 5.5% vs. 3.5%) and URMF (4.3% & 0.8% vs. 2.8%), P < 0.01. No differences were seen between PD vs total faculty. On subset analysis, there were significant differences observed in HO programs at the trainee, PD and DC levels compared to total faculty, whereas significant differences in RO programs were seen only at the DC level [Table 1]. CONCLUSION: Gender & racial/ethnic disparity is present in academic oncology. Specifically, women of all races/ethnicities are proportionally underrepresented in DC positions in HO and RO programs. These data can serve as a benchmark to raise awareness and monitor progress towards a more balanced workforce in oncology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e335-e336
JournalInternational journal of radiation oncology, biology, physics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Nov 1 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiation
  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cancer Research


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