Preface to An Evolution of Empowerment: A Women in Medicine Summit Compendium, 2021

Written by: David C. Kim (Partner Development Manager, Wiley Career Center Services)
Published on: Aug 27, 2021
This article is published in the 2021 edition of the
Women in Medicine Summit Compendium
Click here to find out more and read the other articles

By David C. Kim (Partner Development Manager, Wiley Career Center Services)

Common themes emerge from the histories of our many venerable learned societies in the United States, including in medical disciplines and elsewhere, when considering the demographic makeup of founding leaders and members – they tend to be White and male.

Looking back on Wiley’s 214-year tenure in scholarly publishing, it’s perhaps not a surprise to see stark similarities in racial and gender identity throughout the organization’s own earliest history. In 2021, the gender makeup of society membership and occupational demographics continues to move in the right direction, with women advancing steadily towards hard-fought parity in institutional access against legacy norms. Racial parity within societies and occupational access, however, have considerable distance remaining, especially when contrasted against the racial composition of the United States. In positive relief to Wiley’s early years, and similarly reflected in broad strokes across the scholarly publishing industry, we now see a women-majority makeup (hovering around 65%) in scholarly publishing occupations.

Yet, there is a caveat to progress made towards gender parity in occupational access across disciplines: systemic biases within many professional environments continue to perpetuate gender-based inequities. Addressing the gender wage gap exposes the lack of women holding higher compensated positions, despite women making up significant portions, if not majorities, within qualified candidate pools. Promotion to leadership positions continues to trail behind the high rate at which women enter the workforce or complete advanced degrees. In fact, ceteris paribus the rate of promotion for women continues to trail the rate for men.

As the world’s largest society publisher and one of the oldest continuously operating companies in the United States, Wiley is often, and justly, called to a higher standard of partnership with the scholarly society community and the members they serve. Over a decade ago when Wiley launched the precursor to Diversity in Research (DiR) – host site of the Women in Medicine Summit Compendium – it was driven by the simple belief that voicing support for equity is not enough. DiR initially set out to connect scholarly jobseekers with employers who are committed to improving their hiring practices and diversifying their organizations. Through ongoing efforts in DiR, societies desiring to share valuable diversity research for the public good – such as how journal data analysis can help identify and address gender bias in peer view – found a channel to reach a vast society audience. During the COVID-19 pandemic, academics with disrupted courses were equipped with virtual classroom transition and teaching resources that aimed to level education access across intersectionalities, and students financially impacted by the pandemic – disproportionately women - gained access to emergency grant opportunities to help them stay in school.

The Women In Medicine Summit (WIMS) delivers many formidable initiatives to move the needle towards equity in the healthcare community and Wiley is honored to publish the compendium in its second year to help amplify allyship. As you read through this collection of changemaking voices from the upcoming WIMS annual event, I challenge you to think creatively about how the ideas, tips and suggestions may be applied in your own practice, society or company. Attending the WIMS annual event is a great opportunity to share about both successes and lessons from your journey and learn from the experiences of others. But, it’s also a remarkable opportunity to reenergize and deeply connect with an engaged community.

We hope you will join us virtually for WIMS 2021 and enjoy the compendium as a taste of the fantastic session topics. As you read through the articles, I hope you will join in my gratitude for the often unsung individuals behind the scenes whose efforts have helped make the compendium a reality: creative management by Jenny Handy; distribution strategy by James Weeks, PhD; creative design by Evan Segerman, Lissette Velez and Caryn Heilman; copy management by Christina Wood; and WIMS marketing support by Polli Rossi and team at Meeting Achievements. And special thanks to my co-editor, Dr. Shikha Jain, who saw a need and had the audacity to step up and create change.

David KimDavid C. Kim (Co-Editor and Partner Development Manager, Wiley Career Center Services)

David C. Kim is Partner Development Manager for Wiley’s career center business, where he advises society leaders on transforming legacy society job boards into powerful career solutions that elevate member experience and career advancement value, develop strategic and loyal industry partnerships and secure non-dues revenue growth. He leads Wiley’s Career Center Diversity, Equity & Inclusion initiatives, involving efforts to improve professional opportunities for historically underrepresented women, BIPOC and LGBTQ+ communities in research, academia and professional practice. David was previously Associate Editor/Journal Publishing Manager at Wiley, responsible for strategic development of high-profile society-owned journals in finance, economics, statistics, demography, geography and health policy. He was a 2020 Fellow of the Society for Scholarly Publishing and serves as Board Advisor to the Women In Science At Columbia group. He received his BA in Political Science from Columbia University and is an active member of the Columbia Dragon Boat racing team of New York.

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