AMWA Initiatives

The American Medical Women’s Association advocates to bring under-addressed issues to the forefront of the national agenda.
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Gender Equity Task Force

Mission

The American Medical Women’s Association Gender Equity Task Force (AMWA GETF) strives to accomplish gender equity as a fact of life in society, and to engage in activities, action and collaborations pursuant to this goal, beginning with the healthcare industry of which women physicians are one component.

Goals and Objectives

1. Educate all healthcare professionals on the importance of establishing gender equity in the healthcare system, starting with women physicians.

2. Emphasize the importance of gender equity as a work force and health care reform issue.

3. Further the American Medical Women’s Association’s goal of forming a networking alliance among all female physicians and female physician organizations by creating a database of contacts.

4. Create a library of useful resources that we can share with others on Gender Equity in the medical profession.

5. Research and identify other organizations with gender equity initiatives.

6. Create a networking database with other organizations with gender equity initiatives – Gimbalvo Grant.

7. Create a speaker’s bureau targeting speakers on gender equity issues.

8. Create educational materials defining gender equity issues.

Submit Entry for Linda Brodsky Memorial  Essay on Mentorship Contest

More Info

Position

The Gender Equity Task Force (GETF) of the American Medical Women’s Association (AMWA) holds the position that gender equity must be the standard in every sphere of the medical establishment, as well as American society. All conduct that deviates from this standard, at every level of power and influence, is inherently unethical and unlawful, and cannot be tolerated or excused. Laws give women the right to gender equity, to be free from discrimination on the basis of gender in all areas of their lives. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) gives women, in equality with men, the inalienable right to be free from discrimination on the basis of gender (Article 2). Women pursuing the profession of medicine, in all its forms and at every stage of progress, have these rights throughout their lifespan. Women have the right, as do men, to redress their grievances when their rights as individual human persons are violated. That is de jure. (ref. Laws below) De facto is different. Women who know their right to gender equity, and try to exercise their rights, to correct wrongs done to them and protest violations of their rights, are commonly subject to retaliation. Retaliation ranges from damning with faint praise, untrue and unfair evaluation, diagnoses that discredit, disparagement, exclusion, disadvantage, de facto discrimination, blacklisting, character assassination, firing, loss of livelihood, and loss of profession, through to include, tragically, loss of life. All of the women who suffer such retaliation are directly harmed by this unethical conduct, often indelibly for a lifetime. This is inexcusable and unjustifiable. Retaliatory conduct is repugnant, unethical and unlawful. Therefore, these practices, and the policies that enable them, must stop, and serious negative consequences be created for those who choose to retaliate and do harm. A hostile work environment impedes the optimum development of human potential. AMWA holds the position that there must be zero tolerance of gender stereotyping, gendered harassment, disparities in compensation, disparities in access to career development resources, the creation of a hostile work or learning environment. Ultimately all conduct that deviates from true gender equity harmfully impacts the care given by both women and men physicians. It is the position of AMWA that it is the duty of all persons in the medical establishment of America, in every position and functional capacity, to ensure gender equity is a living reality for all women and men. References: Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) Civil Rights Act, Title VII Equal Employment Opportunity Act, An Overview of Women in Academic Medicine, AAMC Analysis Vol. 6, Number 7 Policy on Creating a Gender Neutral Workplace Respectfully Submitted: Joyce Braak, MD; Linda Brodsky, MD; Roberta Gebhard; Ryan Smith, MS3; Vanessa Coleman, MS1. September 2010

Get Involved

 Contact our Chair Roberta Gebhard DO (716) 479-3860 OR email: docgebhard@gmail.com

Fixing the Leaky Pipeline

Statistical data regarding the number of women entering medical school over the past decade have indicated that more than 47% of entering medical students are women (AAMC Women in Medicine Benchmark Statistics). Yet the number of practicing women physicians over the past decade has remained below 35% with most recent estimates around 32.6% of active physicians (AAMC 2014 Physician Data Bank Report). When looking more closely at the numbers of women in leadership positions, the percentages are discouragingly low, especially within the top leadership positions.

This phenomenon of the leaky pipeline for women in medicine is not new. Yet with the increasing influx of women in medicine over the past decade, it is concerning that the problem continues to exist; if anything, the gap in seems to be widening.

We have launched a 2-year initiative, Fixing the Pipeline, to identify

  1. The time points where women are exiting the medical profession
  2. The risk factors for these time points
  3. Possible solutions to address these risk factors
  4. Interventions that would help retain women in the medical profession

This initiative would look at women all stages of their biomedical careers, as students, residents in training, researchers, and practicing physicians. Both academic and non-academic careers would be studied.

Timeline:

  1. Preparatory Phase (2018) – begin literature review, gather statistics, identify national partners and institutions, and set up meetings
  2. Year 1 (2018-2019) – identify the time points and risk factors for women who leave the medical profession
    1. Comprehensive literature review of the past and current research on this issue Review / analyze available data sets from national organizations and institutions Identify data trends
    2. Convene organizations, institutions, and leaders through meetings, focus groups, or summits.
    3. Conduct in-depth institutional and organizational analyses
  1. Year 2 (2019-2020) – identify possible solutions to address these risk factor and interventions that would help retain women in the medical
    1. Establish working groups to focus on particular issues and identify solutions Engage institutions and organizations to discuss these solutions
    2. Develop interventions
  1. Post Year 2 (2020 and beyond) – Encourage widespread implementation of interventions and monitoring of data points at 5 and 10 with the goal of “fixing the leaky ”

Seeking grant funding for:

  • Administrative project support
  • Research and data analysis
  • Meetings and focus groups
  • Program Development
  • Publications and Printing

To get involved, e-mail AssociateDirector@amwa-doc.org.

About the Gender Equity Task Force

In 2010, Dr. Roberta Gebhard founded the Gender Equity Task Force amongst fellow members of the American Medical Women’s Association. She recruited her colleague and friend Dr. Linda Brodsky to co-chair the committee with her.

During 2010, the Gender Equity Task force wrote its mission statement and position paper, in addition to, compiling a list of all women physician organizations, and their contacts, in which women physicians have chosen to organize. Together they created a webinar entitled Achieving Gender Equity for Women Physicians for AMWA’s networking alliance. Following the webinar, the gender equity task force was asked to comment as an authority on gender discrepancies in medicine, specifically with relation to pay discrepancies between male and female physicians upon entry into the physician workforce.

At AMWA’s 2011 Annual Meeting, the gender equity task force presented their goals for 2012 to AMWA’s networking alliance and formulated new goals for their 2012 agenda which included plans for a workforce study group and a longitudinal, relational data base to help answer questions about women in medicine. The GETF was a recipient of the AMA Giambalvo funds for a Planning Grant: Creating the Foundation for Study of Women Physicians in the 21st Century Principle Investigator: Linda Brodsky, MD, Co-Chair, American Medical Women’s Association (AMWA), Gender Equity Task Force (GETF) Co-Investigator: Roberta Gebhard, DO, Co-Chair, AMWA.

In 2015, AMWA established the Linda Brodsky Memorial Fund and Linda Brodsky Memorial Lecture to honor the leadership of Dr. Brodsky.  AMWA has continued to maintain WomenMDResources which was founded by Dr. Brodsky to be a resource for women physicians and students.

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