CIRSE Survey Evaluates Gender Gap in Interventional Radiology
May 23, 2018—A prospective online survey conducted by the Cardiovascular Interventional Radiological Society of Europe (CIRSE) evaluated the gender gap within interventional radiology (IR) and the barriers facing women in IR. The findings were published by Professor Tze Min Wah, MD, and Professor Anna Maria Belli, MD, online ahead of print in CardioVascular and Interventional Radiology (CVIR).
According to the investigators, the survey highlights issues experienced by women in IR. They concluded that clear guidance on concerns regarding radiation exposure, particularly during pregnancy, is needed and that structured and supportive training is required for female IRs who may wish to train or work flexibly. Additionally, they found that the male-dominated environment is discouraging, and an initiative to promote female IRs would encourage women to take on senior leadership positions and attract more women into the specialty.
The survey was a questionnaire developed by the investigators and the CIRSE communication and publication team. The questionnaire was sent electronically to 750 identifiable female members of CIRSE. Responses were collected August 7–24, 2017.
As summarized in CVIR, the response rate was 19.9% (n = 149), with the highest response from the United Kingdom (18%), Italy (11%), Germany (11%), Spain (7%), the Netherlands (5%), France (5%), Sweden (4%), and the United States (4%).
Ninety-one percent of the respondents were between the ages of 31 and 46 years, 83% worked full time, 62% spent more than half of their working time in IR, and 67% practiced in a university or tertiary referral institution. Eighty-five percent were in the minority in their department, 52% had no leadership role in their department, and 67% expressed willingness to consider a leadership position. Their main concerns were work/family life balance, the risks of radiation exposure, the effect of pregnancy on training and practice, and the male-dominated work environment, reported the investigators in CVIR.