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Opportunities for the Advancement of Female Equity in Academic Medicine

The article highlights reflections from early-career female faculty during the COVID-19 pandemic

Researchers from the University of Minnesota (U of M) Medical School have published an academic article laying the framework for more diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) opportunities in medicine and science. The article highlights reflections from early-career female faculty during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The COVID-19 pandemic unearthed weaknesses within our national systems’ ability to rapidly respond to significant challenges,” said first author Sade Spencer, PhD, an assistant professor of neuroscience at the U of M Medical School. “In this perspective piece, we bring an often-silent voice of early-career female faculty and their experiences in navigating the tenuous balance of academic work, financial stress, and work-life stress during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The framework, which was published in Preventive Medicine Reports, proposes solutions to address future improvements in clinical, research, and education fields. Some recommendations include:

  • Engaging diverse community perspectives.
  • Considering culturally relevant decisions.
  • Communicating thoughtfully with a balance of hope and realism.
  • A continued investment in diverse communities. 

“We propose an adapted diversity, equity, and inclusion model to guide the response to future challenges within a faculty competency framework,” Spencer said. “We offer recommendations based on the DEI-competency framework, including opportunities for lasting positive change that can emerge from this challenging moment of our collective history.”

This research was supported by the Center for Women in Medicine and Science (CWIMS) at the U of M Medical School. The team of researchers hope to engage with the CWIMS Early Pathways to Career Success program for future opportunities.

- This press release was originally published on the University of Minnesota Medical School website