Education| Volume 169, ISSUE 6, P1346-1351, June 2021

Gender distribution among surgical journals’ editorial boards: Empowering women surgeon scientists

Published:January 22, 2021DOI:



      Gender disparities still exist in the field of academic surgery. Women face additional obstacles obtaining high-ranking, surgical academia positions compared to men, and this may extend to the appointment of editorial board members. We aim to evaluate the gender distribution of editorial board members, associate editors, and editors-in-chief of top US surgical journals and to recommend interventions, which can promote equitable gender representation among editorial boards.


      The study is a cross-sectional analysis using publicly available data regarding the number and proportion of female editorial board members, associate editors, and editors-in-chief from 42 US surgical journals. Descriptive statistics and linear regression were performed with significance defined as P < .05.


      Of 2,836 editorial board members from 42 US surgical journals, 420 (14.8%) were women. Of 881 associate editors, 118 (13.3%) were women. Only 2/42 (4.8%) of editors-in-chief were women. The mean proportions of female editorial board members and associate editors were 14.5% and 19.5%, respectively. No significant associations were found between the 2019 Scimago Journal & Country Rank indicator nor the 2019 impact factor and the proportion of female editorial board members and female associate editors after adjusting for author H-index.


      Gender disparities are evident in academic surgery, and women comprise a minority of US surgical editorial board members, associate editors, and editors-in-chief. The implementation of women mentorship from senior faculty on behalf of senior residents and junior faculty, as well as journal-facilitated pipeline programs, can diversify editorial board members by increasing women representation and reduce disparities in surgical journal editorial boards.
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      Linked Article

      • Gender distribution among surgical journals’ editorial boards: Empowering women surgeon scientists
        SurgeryVol. 170Issue 1
        • Preview
          I read with great interest the recent article titled “Gender Distribution Among Surgical Journals’ Editorial Boards: Empowering Women Surgeon Scientists” published in Surgery by Ehrlich et al.1 This study reported the gender distribution of editorial board members of 42 US surgical journals. Only 420 (14.8%) of the 2,836 editorial board members were women, highlighting the gender disparity in surgical academia. I would like to congratulate the authors for raising the topic of gender disparity within surgical academia.
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      • Gender distribution in the editorial boards of surgical journals: A snapshot from Western Europe
        SurgeryVol. 170Issue 4
        • Preview
          We read with great interest the recent publication by Ehrlich et al pondering contemporary gender inequalities in academic surgery.1 We wish to reiterate the authors’ concern that gender inequalities in the field of academic surgery still exist, as supported by the paucity of women involved in the editorial board of several American top surgical journals. In order to offer a wider perspective of this matter, we investigated the percentage of female editorial board members of Western European surgical journals.
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