Research Article| Volume 60, ISSUE 10, P1321-1324, December 2022

Gender representation amongst editorials boards in United Kingdom surgical specialty journals

Published:October 13, 2022DOI:


      Females remain under-represented in surgery in the United Kingdom and around the globe. Gender representation on journal editorial boards is one of the key metrics of gender representation within academic surgery. The aim of this study was to quantify gender representation within the editorial leadership of journals affiliated with UK surgical specialties. A web-based search for each of the UK surgical specialty associations was conducted, followed by identification of the endorsed journals for each one. As of August 2022, data on the gender of the editor-in-chief and other journal leadership positions, including associate, section, and deputy editors, were collated. Gender classification was completed using first-name recognition, verified by a web search using the name and institution provided. Managing editors without clinical backgrounds were excluded. Ten journals were identified for the following surgical specialties: General Surgery, Trauma and Orthopaedics, Neurosurgery, Cardiothoracic, Urology, Paediatric Surgery, Ear Nose and Throat, Oral and Maxillofacial, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, and Vascular Surgery. In total, 242 editorial positions were identified: 207 were held by males (82.8%) and 35 by females (17.2%). There were no female editors-in-chief. The average female proportion of editorial leadership per journal was 18.8%. One journal had no female editorial leadership representation. Overall, the number of females in editorial leadership positions is comparable to the current proportion of UK female consultant surgeons (13.7%). Journals with an under-representation of females in senior editorial leadership positions compared with the parent specialty should consider initiatives that will encourage diversity, promote greater gender parity, and champion female representation.


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