Initiative can cut gender gap in medical school faculty salaries

(HealthDay)—An institutional gender equity initiative (GEI) can reduce gender-based salary gaps among medical school faculty, according to a study published online Dec. 21 in JAMA Network Open.

Avani D. Rao, M.D., from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland, and colleagues characterized gender disparities in salary and examined the outcomes associated with a GEI. Johns Hopkins School of Medicine annual salary and promotion data were retrospectively reviewed in a quality improvement study with simulations of salary and additional accumulated wealth (AAW). All academic faculty were included from 2005 and 2016 (1,481 and 1,885, respectively).

The researchers found that a decade after GEI implementation, in 2016, the overall mean salary gap by gender decreased from −2.6 to −1.9 percent. Male faculty collected an average lifetime AAW of $501,416 more than equivalent women in the simulation of pre-GEI disparities; these disparities persisted past retirement. In the real-time GEI simulation, the AAW gap decreased to $210,829; the gap decreased to $66,104 using post-GEI conditions.

“Importantly, our analyses display the positive impact of an institutional commitment to eliminating gender inequities,” the authors write. “These data highlight that outcomes of directed change are not seen immediately; therefore, institutions without GEI in place should implement similar efforts promptly to prevent further delays in progress toward gender equity.”

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