What does having it all actually mean anyway? Success in your personal and professional life? A strong marriage? Climbing the promotional ladder? Children? Who knows.
Anne Marie Slaughter, former Director of Policy Planning for the U.S. State Department, just wrote this piece for The Atlantic, summarizing her thoughts on “having it all.” It’s a thought provoking and balanced article, in a line of recent articles, about what it means to be a successful woman in today’s world.
Balancing work and home life is a struggle for almost all working women. Slaughter suggests that it’s perhaps impossible to be a high-powered, in-demand executive and manage to find time to engage with your family. She also suggests that perhaps it’s a fixable problem, starting with creating a dialogue around what’s broken and insisting on changing what have become back-breaking cultural norms.
On the tail of recent news that female physicians are earning less and publishing less often than their male counterparts, this is all certainly food for thought.
Over the past week WIN tweeted two articles related to the sad reality that female medical researchers are not doing as well as as their male counterparts. A study in the European Heart Journal showed that women are 50% less likely than men to have their work published in a peer reviewed journal. Simultaneously, the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) published an article (written by a woman, no less) indicating that female physician researchers earn lower salaries than their male colleagues, even when statistics are adjusted for specialty, academic rank, leadership positions, publications and research time. So the question is – what the heck is up with that?
It’s often suggested that women publish less often and receive less pay than men because of personal choices they make to spend personal time at home with their families rather than on other extraccuricular professional activities. Interestingly, the men in the JAMA study were more likely to be married and have children than the women.
Another explanation for pay and professional advancement discrepencies deals with the idea that women are less likely to pursue higher paying specialities (such as interventional cardiology) than men. WIN has certainly found this to be true, with women making up less than 10% of board certified interventionalists in the United States (with similar numbers outside of the US).
Some may feel there is a generational divide, with those later on in the careers, and with decision making power, more likely to fall prey to stereotyping and other, “old school” ways of thinking about women in the work place. Between the older generation and those younger women of childbaring age making up almost the entire workforce, it might make sense that women have not yet caught up. Perhaps time is all we need to bridge the gap.
As we wait, and as data continues to show that inequalities still exist, it is important for women to continue to speak out, work hard and encourage each other. We hope that WIN provides such an opportunity.
A new study shows that awareness of heart disease risks and heart attack symptoms vary greatly among women of different racial and ethnic groups as well as ages. New data, pooled from two AHA surveys, show that African American and Hispanic women are 66% less likely than white women to be aware that heart disease is the leading cause of death in women. Women younger than 55 years old are also less well-informed about heart disease risk.
Read the article from the Journal of Women’s Health – “Racial/Ethnic and Age Differences in Women’s Awareness of Heart Disease.”
Dr. Sudhir Mungee, FSCAI of the University of Illinois Collge of Medicine in Peoria, IL discusses his abstract presentation at #SCAI2012 with Chris Kaiser of MedPage Today. Dr. Mungee’s institution screened over 500 patients as part of a pilot study organized by SCAI Women in Innovations and Abbott Vascular’s Women’s Heart Health Initiative which aims to increase the referral pathway between OBGYNs and cardiologists. The abstract presentation highlighted study findings which showed that 20% of the women screened saw their OBGYN as their primary care physician, and that 13% of those screened had 3 or more cardiovascular disease risk factors they were not aware of.