Women overlooked and valued less in medicine: researchers

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Women are overlooked by medical researchers and undervalued in health-related careers, a series of reports in the British medical journal the Lancet has found.

Women working to build careers in health face significant barriers, according a series of papers in the special issue of the journal looking at gender diversity in science and medicine.

They found medical research was skewed towards the needs of men, with almost three quarters of biomedical research papers failing to consider differences in outcome according to sex.

“The evidence is clear: women are disadvantaged within science, medicine and global health,” Lancet executive editor Jocalyn Clark told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

“Gender equity in science is not only a matter of justice and rights, but is crucial to producing the best research and the best care for patients.”

Although women are legally entitled to equal pay in many countries, including the United States and Britain, they still earn less than men and face gendered barriers ranging from politics to senior business positions.

The issue extends to the academia, according to a report that found women struggled to reach the most senior roles in social sciences and public health departments at 15 leading universities in the United States, Britain and Canada.