Editor’s note: The opinions expressed by the author do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the AAMC or its members.
This year, for the first time, more women than men entered medical school, an impressive advance from a few decades ago when women represented less than a third of matriculants. Yet progress in another key segment of academic medicine has been painfully slow. The number of women in C-suite positions and other high-level posts—chief medical officer, chief financial officer, department chair, and dean, for example—remains shockingly low. Given how much we need women in leadership roles, it is time to act. I urge sponsorship of women, an approach borrowed from the corporate world that can elevate a person from unknown talent to rising-star status.
The need is clear. In a 2013 Academic Medicine article, my colleagues and I wrote on the poor representation of women in leadership roles, citing AAMC