In their report in the April issue of Academic Medicine, the research team also finds differences in the roles female faculty members take as they advance in their careers.
"The gender gap in pay has been well documented, but what was not understood was whether academic accomplishments could overcome the pay gap," says Catherine DesRoches, DrPh, of the Mongan Institute, who led the study. "Our study found that, across the board, men are being paid substantially more than equally qualified and accomplished women at academic medical centers."
Previous studies that documented disparities in compensation and academic rank between male and female faculty members did not examine differences in professional activities, such as leadership positions held. The current study was designed to investigate whether professional activities differ by gender, whether professional productivity –reflected by scientific papers published – continued to vary, and if differences in salary would persist after accounting for professional activities.
In 2007 the researchers surveyed more than 3,000 randomly selected investigators from life science departments at the top 50 academic medical centers receiving National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding in 2003 or 2004. The anonymous surveys included questions about respondents' professional activities – such as leadership positions at their universities, on federal panels or at scientific journals – total and recent numbers of publications and the journals they appeared in; the numbers of hours spent on all professional, scientific and clinical activities; and total compensation.
The results indicated that women who reached the rank of full professor worked significantly more hours per week than men of the same rank, a difference primarily accounted for by more time spent in administrative and other professional tasks and not patient care, teaching or research. There was no significant difference in hours worked among associate professors, but women at the assistant professor level worked fewer hours overall, primarily spending less time doing research. Even after controlling for the differences in academic ranking, research productivity and other personal characteristics, women earned from $6,000 to $15,000 less per year than men of similar levels of accomplishment.
"These differences may seem modest," DesRoches says, "but over a 30-year career, an average female faculty member with a PhD would earn almost $215,000 less that a comparable male. If that deficit were invested in a retirement account earning 6 percent per year, the difference would grow to almost $700,000 over a career. For department of medicine faculty, that difference could be almost twice as great."
While the study did not investigate reasons underlying the differences found by the survey, the researchers theorize that the greater number of professional responsibilities taken on by female full professors could result from organization's efforts to improve the diversity of their department and committee leadership. Salary discrepancies could result from continuing discriminatory practices or from the choices women make regarding specialties.
"Women working in the life sciences should not assume they are being paid as much as equally qualified men, and academic institutions should look hard at their compensation and advancement policies and their cultures," says Eric G.Campbell, PhD, principal investigator of the study. "In the end, I suspect major systemic changes will be needed if we ever hope to achieve the ideal of equal pay for equal work in academic medicine." Campbell is an associate professor of Medicine and DesRoches an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School.
Co-authors of the Academic Medicine report – supported by a grant from the Human Genome Project of the National Institutes of Health – are Sowmya Rao, PhD, and Lisa Iezzoni, MD, MSc, of the Mongan Institute for Health Policy at MGH; and Darren Zinner, PhD, Brandeis University.
Massachusetts General Hospital, established in 1811, is the original and largest teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School. The MGH conducts the largest hospital-based research program in the United States, with an annual research budget of more than $600 million and major research centers in AIDS, cardiovascular research, cancer, computational and integrative biology, cutaneous biology, human genetics, medical imaging, neurodegenerative disorders, regenerative medicine, systems biology, transplantation biology and photomedicine.
Sue McGreevey | EurekAlert!
Antarctic Ice Sheet mass loss has increased
14.06.2018 | Technische Universität Dresden
WAKE-UP provides new treatment option for stroke patients | International study led by UKE
17.05.2018 | Universitätsklinikum Hamburg-Eppendorf
Moving into its fourth decade, AchemAsia is setting out for new horizons: The International Expo and Innovation Forum for Sustainable Chemical Production will take place from 21-23 May 2019 in Shanghai, China. With an updated event profile, the eleventh edition focusses on topics that are especially relevant for the Chinese process industry, putting a strong emphasis on sustainability and innovation.
Founded in 1989 as a spin-off of ACHEMA to cater to the needs of China’s then developing industry, AchemAsia has since grown into a platform where the latest...
The BMBF-funded OWICELLS project was successfully completed with a final presentation at the BMW plant in Munich. The presentation demonstrated a Li-Fi communication with a mobile robot, while the robot carried out usual production processes (welding, moving and testing parts) in a 5x5m² production cell. The robust, optical wireless transmission is based on spatial diversity; in other words, data is sent and received simultaneously by several LEDs and several photodiodes. The system can transmit data at more than 100 Mbit/s and five milliseconds latency.
Modern production technologies in the automobile industry must become more flexible in order to fulfil individual customer requirements.
An international team of scientists has discovered a new way to transfer image information through multimodal fibers with almost no distortion - even if the fiber is bent. The results of the study, to which scientist from the Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology Jena (Leibniz IPHT) contributed, were published on 6thJune in the highly-cited journal Physical Review Letters.
Endoscopes allow doctors to see into a patient’s body like through a keyhole. Typically, the images are transmitted via a bundle of several hundreds of optical...
Light detection and control lies at the heart of many modern device applications, such as smartphone cameras. Using graphene as a light-sensitive material for...
Water molecules exist in two different forms with almost identical physical properties. For the first time, researchers have succeeded in separating the two forms to show that they can exhibit different chemical reactivities. These results were reported by researchers from the University of Basel and their colleagues in Hamburg in the scientific journal Nature Communications.
From a chemical perspective, water is a molecule in which a single oxygen atom is linked to two hydrogen atoms. It is less well known that water exists in two...
13.06.2018 | Event News
08.06.2018 | Event News
05.06.2018 | Event News
18.06.2018 | Earth Sciences
18.06.2018 | Process Engineering
18.06.2018 | Life Sciences