RAD Women: Shattering the Glass Ceiling

MACURA katarzyna 8830This post was contributed by Katarzyna J. Macura, MD, PhD, FACR, and chair of the American College of Radiology Commission for Women and Diversity.

The 2018 American College of Radiology Annual Meeting (ACR 2018) brought forth several historic moments for our specialty, and for women.

Most notably – my colleague and friend, Geraldine McGinty, MD, MBA, FACR was elected the first woman chair of the American College of Radiology in its nearly 100-year history. Dr. McGinty is a practicing radiologist and an expert in health care strategy and economics, and received the 2018 William T. Thorwarth, Jr., MD, Award at ACR 2018 for these contributions. A faculty member at Weill Cornell Medicine, she currently serves as chief strategy officer and chief contracting offer for the Weill Cornell Physician Organization. She has been a trailblazer for women in radiology, and she is committed to empowering other women to follow in her footsteps, through mentoring and her remarkable responsiveness on social media. As I mentioned during our “2018 Diversity Forum: Women in Radiology – Why Men Should Care” at ACR 2018 on Sunday, this victory for Geraldine is really a victory for all of us.

Speaking of that session – we covered a lot of ground in 90 minutes. We left with a renewed commitment to:

  • Encouraging our colleagues to speak up, speak out and share best practices
  • Ensuring our search committees are considering every single aspect of diversity
  • Ensuring panels at meetings and conferences are 50 percent women
  • Working with our medical schools to increase recruitment and retention of women
  • Supporting women with maternity leave, lactation rooms and flexibility

Indeed, this year, the ACR offered free childcare assistance and an on-site lactation room at ACR 2018.

We also continued to build upon a new tradition began at ACR 2017 with #HeForShe #ACR2018. We created www.acr.org/heforshe as an online resource where attendees could learn more about the College and its members’ efforts to promote gender equity. Attendees used colorful posters and stickers to share how men and women in our specialty are working together in hundreds of social media posts.

Additionally, our colleague Ruth Carlos, MD, MS, FACR was also named the first female editor-in-chief of the Journal of the American College of Radiology (JACR).

These moments are encouraging and empowering, and they are victories worth celebrating. But make no mistake – we still have work to do. According to our 2018 Workforce Survey, we’ve doubled the number of female radiologists in the past 25 years. Yet, only 25 percent of all radiologists are female. It’s encouraging that this number rises to 36 percent in radiologists under 35, pointing to a trend of more female radiologists in the future. As a specialty, let’s make sure we’re ready for them.

  • How are you working to attract and retain more women in your facility or program?
  • If you’re a woman in radiology, what challenges are you facing? How can we overcome them?
  • Print the poster and share your #HeForShe #ACR2018 story on social media.

Please provide your thoughts the comments section below or on the Engage discussion board (login required).

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