Women in Cardiology: A BCS Update

By Dr Jonathan Shurlock

A BCS editorial has recently been published, focussing on women in cardiology. The two authors Dr Khadija Amanullah and Raheel Ahmed focus on the progress made in this area and discuss the ongoing challenges.

The key findings are summarised in 4 “take home messages”:

  1. Women remain underrepresented in cardiology, despite some progress
  2. Major barriers include gender discrimination and work-life balance
  3. Bullying and harassment remain prevalent
  4. Significant progress has been made by Women in Cardiology groups, to help individuals overcome these barriers.

The authors discuss the progress made since the previous BCS women in cardiology editorial in 2019. In addition, they outline the current challenges for women working in cardiology and suggestions for attempting to overcome them. While the number of women in cardiology is increasing, the authors described the findings of a paper from Circulation in 2019, which has projected that gender parity in cardiology will not be achieved for 50 years.

Reference is made to the BJCA trainee survey that we recently discussed here. The survey describes how 11% of responding cardiology trainees report experiencing bullying at work, with a higher proportion of these being women. Further discussed is the increased exposure of women in cardiology to gender discrimination and sexual harassment compared with men.

The work of the BCS Women in Cardiology group is highlighted and recognised as a collaborative way to try and facilitate overcoming and reducing the magnitude of these challenges.

While some evidence of progress is demonstrated, this updated editorial gives an important overview of the ongoing challenges. It is useful reading for trainees, senior cardiologists, and those interested in joining the speciality.