Representation of women as editors in dermatology journals: A comprehensive review

Marissa Lobl, Madison Grinnell, Shauna Higgins, Kelli Yost, Pearl Grimes, Ashley Wysong

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Background: Despite a substantial increase in the number of women matriculating into medical school, a gender gap still exists with respect to academic leadership positions. This gap is apparent in the field of dermatology, particularly in the composition of dermatology journal editorial boards. To address this gap, we must first acknowledge its existence, examine potential reasons for its existence, and propose strategies to narrow the gap. Objective: Our objective is to determine the representation of women as editors in dermatology journals. Methods: A comprehensive search was performed for dermatology journals indexed in Medline, Journal Citation Reports, Scopus, and Embase in August, September, and October 2018. The editorial board of each journal was analyzed for the number and percentage of male and female editors in four different positions. We verified the accuracy of editorial boards listed on publisher websites by emailing administrative personnel. We also recorded the number of years from terminal degree for editorial board members of the 10 journals with the highest impact factors using SCImago Journal Rankings. Results: Women occupied 18% of editor-in-chief positions, 36% of deputy editor roles, 22% of overall editorial board positions, and 22% of other board roles. The average number of years since terminal degree was not statistically different between women and men, with women averaging 30.2 years and men averaging 28.0 years since completion of terminal degree (p = .27). Conclusions: Our findings suggest that women are underrepresented as editors at all levels in dermatology journals. This supports prior findings reporting a minority of women in academic leadership roles. Thus, although women have made major advancements in the medical field over the past century, there remains room for progress with regard to equal representation in academic leadership roles, including editorial positions, professorships, and department chair roles.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)20-24
Number of pages5
JournalInternational Journal of Women's Dermatology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2020


  • Academic medicine
  • Editorial boards
  • Women in medicine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology


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