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Gender differences in leadership, workforce and scholarly presentation within a national society: a gastroenterology perspective
  1. Alenka J Brooks1,
  2. Eleanor Jane Taylor2,
  3. E A Arthurs3,
  4. Cathryn Edwards4,
  5. Richard Gardner5,
  6. Melanie Lockett6,
  7. Penny J Neild7,
  8. Julie Solomon5,
  9. Siwan Thomas-Gibson8,
  10. Jayne Eaden9
  1. 1 Academic Department of Gastroenterology, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Sheffield, UK
  2. 2 Hepatology, St James University Hospital, Leeds, UK
  3. 3 Department of Gastroenterology, Bristol Royal Infirmary, Bristol, UK
  4. 4 Department of Gastroenterology, South Devon NHS Foundation Trust, Torbay, UK
  5. 5 British Society of Gastroenterology, London, UK
  6. 6 Gastroenterology, North Bristol NHS Trust, Bristol, UK
  7. 7 Department of Gastroenterology, St. George’s Hospital, London, UK
  8. 8 Wolfson Endoscopy Unit, St Marks Hospital, Harrow, UK
  9. 9 Gastroenterology, University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust, Coventry, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Jayne Eaden, Gastroenterology, University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust, Coventry CV2 2DX, UK; jayne.eaden{at}


In the UK, gastroenterology has been a male predominant medical speciality. Data regarding gender within workforce, academia and leadership at a national level are lacking. Data regarding scholarly presentation at the following annual conferences were collected and analysed; British Society of Gastroenterology (BSG) 2013, 2014, and Digestive Diseases Federation (DDF) in 2015. Data from the 2013–2015 BSG annual workforce reports were examined. In 2015, female higher specialty trainees (STs) made up 39% (328/848) of the trainee workforce, versus 37% and 35% in 2014 and 2013. From 2013 to 2015, less than a fifth of all consultant gastroenterologists were women. Female consultant (18%), ST (39%), associate (86%) and student attendance (47%) at DDF 2015 did not change significantly from 2013 to 2014. Female speakers (trainees and consultants) were significantly lower at DDF 2015 compared with BSG 2014; 43/331 (13%) versus 56/212 (26.4%) (p=0.0001) and BSG 2013 63/231 (27%) (p=0.0001). The number of female chairs, delivery of the named lectures and prizes awarded to women did not differ across the 3-year period. Female leadership via representation at Council and Executive at BSG was 4/30 (13%) in 2015 and did not differ in 2013/2014, with no elected council members since 2008 and one female president in 1973.

The proportion of female gastroenterology trainees and consultants is increasing, but remains lower than across all medical specialties and is reflected in attendance and scholarly contributions. Action within the BSG is underway to address female under-representation in leadership roles.

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  • Contributors AJB reviewed the literature and prepared the manuscript. EJT collated and analysed data and prepared the manuscript. EAA, CE, RG, ML, PJN, JS, ST-G and JE reviewed manuscript. All authors approved the final draft prior to submission. ML: sponsorship from MSD for workforce talk at generic skills workshop and for ECCO.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Presented at This paper was presented as an abstract at the British Society of Gastroenterology meeting in June 2017.