Assessment of Gender Parity: Leadership Representation in Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine

Emily M. Olson, Cassie C. Kennedy, Diana J. Kelm

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Academic centers' and professional societies' top leadership representation and professional societies' award recipients remain disparate by gender in many fields. Little is known regarding leadership representation and recognition within pulmonary, critical care, and sleep medicine (PCCM), which has ~22% women physicians. We sought to understand the landscape of female PCCM leaders. Methods: We abstracted gender of fellowship program directors (PDs), Department of Medicine (DOM) Chairs and Division Chiefs from academic medical centers with PCCM fellowship programs from 2018 and for comparison 2008. We abstracted leadership and recognition award recipients within four PCCM professional societies from 2013 to 2018 (American Thoracic Society [ATS], American Academy of Sleep Medicine [AASM], American College of Chest Physicians [CHEST], and Society of Critical Care Medicine [SCCM]). Results: In 2018, 29% of PCCM PD, 15% of PCCM Division Chiefs, and 15% of DOM Chairs were women. There were significantly more female PDs in 2018 (29%) compared with 2008 (16%, p = 0.04). On average, 25% of society presidents were women, with 28% of PCCM societal awards going to women, with significant difference between societies (p = 0.04). Each society differed in average distribution of female board members over the 6-year period: ATS 38%, AASM 35%, CHEST 18%, and SCCM 44% (p < 0.001). Conclusion: PCCM leadership and societal recognition are disparate by gender with few women holding top leadership roles and receiving societal recognition. Fortunately, the distribution notably is starting to reflect the specialty's demographics. Understanding why these inequalities exist will be essential to achieving gender parity in PCCM.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)439-446
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Women's Health
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2022


  • awards
  • gender
  • leadership
  • pulmonary and critical care medicine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Assessment of Gender Parity: Leadership Representation in Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this