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Challenges and Opportunities for Women in Clinical Research

Written by: Lisa D. Ellis
Published on: Mar 25, 2024

Challenges for women in Medicine
Photo Credit: shefkate -

Women working in clinical research can bring real value when they serve in leadership positions. Yet they are often underrepresented in this area—from being passed over for promotions to finding obstacles hampering their access to important funding sources and other important resources in the clinical research space, according to Jamie M. Robertson, PhD, MPH, director of innovation in surgical education through the Department of Surgery at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and associate co-director of Harvard Medical School’s postgraduate Global Clinical Scholars Research Training program.

Many studies in recent years have explored this gender inequity. For instance, findings published in Contemporary Clinical Trials reveal that women are much less likely than men to be first authors on published studies. Another study in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology finds that when women lead clinical trials, they tend to recruit more diverse participants than their male counterparts. This means when women are underrepresented in leadership roles, the research field can suffer as a result.

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