Gender differences in academic productivity and advancement among dental school faculty

Simon, L., et al. (2019). "Gender differences in academic productivity and advancement among dental school faculty." Journal of Women's Health.

Background: An equal number of women and men are now graduating from dental school, but women dentists have lower income and are less likely to achieve positions of leadership, including within dental academia. Materials and Methods: Demographic information and academic rank were obtained for all faculty at the eight dental schools who received the most funding from the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research in 2017. Years since dental school graduation, total number of PubMed-indexed citations, first- and last-author publications, and H-index were determined for each faculty member. Gender differences in productivity and advancement were evaluated. Results: Of 702 faculty members, 36.5% were female; only 24.4% of full professors were women. Men had significantly higher numbers of publications (30.2 [95% confidence interval [CI, 28.6-39.5] vs. 20.4 [95% CI 16.3-24.6], p = 0.02) and higher H-index (8.2 [95% CI 7.1-9.1] vs. 4.7 [95% CI 3.9-5.5], p < 0.0001). Women had graduated more recently than their male colleagues at all levels of academic advancement (overall 22.83 years [95% CI 21.29-24.39] vs. 30.19 years [95% CI 28.84-31.55], p < 0.0001). When corrected for academic productivity and years since graduation, the association between gender and academic rank was not significant. Conclusions: Women are underrepresented at each academic rank except instructor; however, women may advance more quickly than their male counterparts. Increasing scholarship and mentorship opportunities for female faculty members may help improve gender equity in dental academia.

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