Women and Inclusion in Academic Medicine

This study seeks to clarify the characteristics and interrelationships of institutional, individual and sociocultural factors that influence the entry, progression, persistence and advancement of women faculty, particularly women of  color faculty (African American, Hispanic, American Indian/Alaskan Native, and Asian American) in academic medicine. The study team recognizes that factors related to the success of women faculty may cut across all racial/ethnic groups.  It is therefore critically important that the perspectives of all women are included. 

The research aims to:

  • Characterize academic medical institutions in terms of institutional structure, mission, promotion and tenure policies and faculty supports;
  • Characterize individual, institutional and sociocultural factors that influence the entry, progression and persistence of women, particularly women of color in academic medical careers;
  • Determine the career trajectories, including performance, of women in academic medical careers;
  • Elucidate the interplay between individual, institutional, and sociocultural factors as they relate to career outcomes for women faculty.

The study is being conducted within Converge: Building Inclusion in the Sciences through Research at the Harvard Medical School Office for Diversity and Community Partnership in collaboration with the Center for Gender in Organizations located at Simmons College School of Management.

Thirteen United States medical schools that vary on key institutional characteristics are partners in the study.  Three additional U.S. medical school collaborating sites support the instrument design and pilot testing of the web based survey. 

The study includes two complementary components. First, an institutional assessment – 1) a review of documents and 2) structured interviews with key administrative informants at partner institutions. The second includes a two-part faculty assessment – 1) individual faculty interviews and focus groups with women of color faculty at collaborating sites and 2) interviews and a web-based survey with women faculty at the thirteen partner institutions.

Our goal is to significantly contribute to an understanding of factors that are critical to the career progression of women faculty in academic medicine, and thus serve as a basis for addressing institutional policies, practices and program design that impact faculty success.

This study is funded by the National Institutes of Health.



Study Timeline

The study provides a general overview of the operational activities throughout the
2009 - 2013 funding period. More...


Management & Administration

Research Team

Institutional Partners and Liaisons

Advisory Committee

Contact Study Staff


Partnering Institutions

Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine

Charles Drew University of Medicine and Science

Duke University School of Medicine

Harvard Medical School

Meharry Medical College

Mount Sinai School of Medicine

Morehouse School of Medicine

Stanford School of Medicine

University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine

University of Connecticut School of Medicine

University of Nebraska Medical Center - College of Medicine

University of New Mexico School of Medicine

University of Puerto Rico School of Medicine

Collaborating Sites

Howard University College of Medicine

University of Massachusetts Medical School

University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey - New Jersey Medical School