Dr Schwartz is the Editor-in-Chief of Applied Radiology. She is the Chief of the Division of Neuroradiology and holds the Robert A Zimmerman Chair in Pediatric Neuroradiology in the Department of Radiology at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. She is also a Professor of Radiology, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you read my bio each issue (and why would you if I didn’t call attention to it?), you’ll notice a change this month. As of July 1, I am officially now a full Professor.
It’s a funny thing, getting promoted in academia. And it feels even funnier to be promoting my promotion. But it’s exactly the sort of thing we should be doing. Sharing our achievements so that we can be celebrated, which encourages others to do the same, and allows us to celebrate them in turn.
However, it does not come naturally for me, as I suspect it doesn’t for many people. Especially for women. So many of us were taught to keep our heads down, keep working, and wait to be recognized for our successes – big and small. That eventually someone would notice. This would be fine if everyone did it. But they don’t.
It’s primarily women who wait to be acknowledged, and primarily men who share their successes, especially with their chairs/ leadership. Now, before you object, “But I know of a man who didn’t …” and “I know of a woman who did … ,” of course, there are exceptions to the norm. But it’s still the norm.
I share this because we need to change the norm. There’s a story I tell of the time I was planning a continuing education conference for a radiology society years ago. Several men reached out, sharing that they had expertise in a particular topic and would like to be invited to speak at the conference. Similarly, people have reached out to offer their services as reviewers for Applied Radiology or to request an invitation to join the editorial board. To be fair, when I don’t personally know the requestor, I can only base my assumption of gender on their name or by googling for images of them. However, I have never received one of these requests from someone I knew to be female.
Nationally, only 16% of fulltime medical school faculty women are full professors, and 24% are associate professors. At my institution, in 2020-2021 (most recent data available) women made up 49% of the medical school class, 62% of instructors/lecturers, and 54% of all assistant professors. But women comprise only 40% of the associate professors and 30% of the full professors.1 Penn clearly does better than the national average, with entire programs devoted to the recruitment and retention of female faculty members, but the disparity between junior and senior faculty representation remains too great.
I am proud to add my +1 to the n of new female full professors, but we still have a long way to go.
Promoting One’s Promotion. Appl Radiol. 2022;51(4):5.
Dr. Schwartz is the Editor-in-Chief of Applied Radiology. She is the Chief of the Division of Neuroradiology and holds the Robert A Zimmerman Chair in Pediatric Neuroradiology in the Department of Radiology at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. She is also an Associate Professor of Radiology, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania.