Women are underrepresented in veterinary education leadership - Veterinary Practice
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Women are underrepresented in veterinary education leadership

Despite their high numbers in the overall veterinary workforce, women still experience many barriers to obtaining leadership roles

Across veterinary schools worldwide, women comprise only a fourth of all deans and a third of their executive teams, according to a recent study published in the Journal of Veterinary Medical Education.

This is particularly surprising given that women are predominant among young professionals and veterinary student populations – over 90 percent of students in some countries. Despite their high numbers in the overall veterinary workforce, women still experience many barriers to obtaining leadership roles, such as pressure to fulfil domestic responsibilities and lack of mentorship.

The proportion of women at the executive level in veterinary education leadership, by country

In wealthier nations and those with higher overall gender equity, women tended to have higher representation in these leadership roles.

“The veterinary profession and the education system supporting it have been expanding rapidly worldwide,” said Neil Vezeau, research project coordinator. “It’s only natural that we have efforts to monitor gender composition in a field undergoing substantial demographic shifts.”

“We’ve been able to build a picture of how far we’ve come regarding gender equity, but also how far we have to go. Our results serve as an indicator for what might be occurring in other fields as well,” said Julia Silva Seixas, a member of the research team.

The research article can be accessed online here.

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