Recently the American Association of Medical Colleges (AAMC) released an analytic brief highlighting the demographics and challenges of women of color who are full-time medical school faculty. This unique group may experience two forms of bias—one based on sex and the other based on race/ethnicity.
Few prior studies had documented the number of women of color in academic medicine and their ranks in U.S. medical schools, which was the impetus for the AAMC’s Analysis in Brief. Women of color referred to full-time female faculty not classified as white. Overall, women of color made up 28 percent of all women full-time faculty and 11 percent of total full-time faculty in U.S. medical schools. The percentage of faculty that were women among Asian, white and mixed race were similar (36-39 percent). In contrast, the percentage of faculty of color who were women was higher among Hispanic (42 percent) and African American (54 percent) faculty; however, women made up only one third of African American full professors and 26 percent of Hispanic full professors. A low percentage of women of color hold leadership positions as department chairs. This speaks to the ongoing need to develop and foster programs and sponsorship opportunities to prepare women of color for academic promotion and leadership.
Our own Chiquita Collins, assistant professor in the Division of General Internal Medicine and associate dean of diversity, will co-lead the AAMC Women of Color Task Force to develop and lead projects to address the intersection of sex and race in academic medicine.
-Sherita Golden, Executive Vice Chair