Achieving Gender Parity: It’s On All of Us

reduced turkey neck and 8 bitThis post was contributed by Bruce J. Hillman, MD, outgoing Editor in Chief of the Journal of the American College of Radiology.

In my Editorial for the Journal of the American College of Radiology (JACR), published earlier this month, I examined some hard truths about how many of my male colleagues in radiology and I, often without even thinking about it, have silently acquiesced to decades of gender discrimination and inequality in our field.

There’s no question that we can – and must – do better. But we need to be smart about it. There is so much to be done. We need methods to determine where our efforts are most likely to lead to success – smart methods that lead to broader equality but avoid unfairly citing discrimination when little exists. We need to look beyond simple percentages of men and women in a given sphere to what’s behind those percentages if we are to avoid, and productively chase down, confounding influences that contribute to the gender makeup of our profession, our associations and our councils, boards and leadership teams.

One place where we can begin without much fear of going awry is with our journals. As far as I have been able to discover, the first woman ever to serve as Editor-in-Chief of the journal of a major radiology organization will be my successor, Ruth C. Carlos, MD, when she assumes the helm of JACR on the first day of 2019. She has proven herself an experienced and capable leader, and – even in this comparatively enlightened era – has likely overcome intentional and unintentional bias that may have otherwise prevented her from taking on this leadership role she has most certainly earned.

Ruth is one of many talented women and men whose names have graced the journal’s masthead and contributed in extraordinary ways to its success over the first 15 years of its existence. While it may be tempting, in retrospect, to claim their appointment was strategic, it was truly my desire to assemble the best possible talent to work on behalf of the Journal that has resulted in diversity – not the other way around.

No one – regardless of age, gender, race, or any other socioeconomic factor – can afford to sit on the sidelines while these conversations and activities take place. Fortunately, we can support each other as we all strive to be better educated, teachable and humble enough to acknowledge the expertise of others.

On Monday, August 27 from 8-9pm ET, the ACR Young and Early Career Professionals Section (ACR YPS) and Women in Radiology will co-host a first-of-its-kind book club to discuss How Women Rise by Sally Helgesen and Marshall Goldsmith. Men and women of all levels of training and practice are encouraged to join us as we dive into women in workplace culture with an emphasis on radiology practices, and support the ongoing momentum of the #HeForShe movement in radiology that has been ongoing since ACR 2017. You can also follow the hashtag #RadChicks during the day on Twitter to participate with discussion via social media whether or not you can attend on the 27th.

The ACR Commission for Women and Diversity is also working throughout the year to leverage the expertise of ACR members and staff to embrace and advance equity, access and innovation for the benefit of our patients and our profession. Within this section of acr.org, you will also find a toolkit and other related resources, including a link to the JACR Special Issue on Diversity.

Creating a successful radiology practice is less about focusing on what they should or shouldn’t do, and more about what we do, together.

  • Have you registered for the free ACR YPS Book Club on Aug. 27?
  • How are you advancing diversity in your radiology practice?

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