Deakin University

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Sex disparities in parenteral and enteral nutrition societies' leadership worldwide: a 20-year retrospective analysis

journal contribution
posted on 2023-12-19, 03:38 authored by Maria Isabel TD Correia, Bruna R da Silva, Wafaa Ayesh, Maria D Ballesteros-Pomar, Diana Cardenas, Marian AE de van der Schueren, Maria Cristina Gonzalez, Nicole KissNicole Kiss, Eliza Mei Perez Francisco, Carla M Prado
BACKGROUND: Despite advancements in the global dialog surrounding sex and gender equity, an important gap persists with women markedly underrepresented in major roles within health care leadership. OBJECTIVES: We examined the extent of women's representation in prominent positions within parenteral and enteral nutrition (PEN) societies worldwide over a span of 2 decades. DESIGN: This retrospective analysis explored the sex distribution of society chairs, conference presidents, and editor-in-chief positions across 64 PEN societies between 2003 and 2022. Additionally, data on the first and last authors of endorsed clinical guidelines were collected from the 2 leading societies. RESULTS: Over the past 20 y, women held society chair positions in 34.4% of cases. The representation shifted from 30% during the decade from 2003 to 2012 to 40.5% from 2013 to 2022. Throughout these years, the numbers consistently ranged from 0 to 10; however, the median shifted upward from 1 during the first decade to 4 in the subsequent decade (P = 0.04). Of 420 congress presidencies, ∼30% were women. In endorsed guidelines, women were the first authors in 27.1% of cases (P < 0.001) and the last in 28.9% (P < 0.001) compared with men. Of the 123 journal editor-in-chief positions, women occupied 23 (18.7%). CONCLUSION: Over the last 2 decades, women have been consistently underrepresented in prominent leadership roles in PEN societies globally. Although there has been a noticeable shift toward more women in chair positions, true sex equality remains elusive. Moreover, sex disparities are even more pronounced in positions, such as conference presidents, authors of major guidelines, and editors-in-chief of society-affiliated journals. These data underscore the pressing need to enhance efforts toward sex equality across these domains.



The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition




United States








Elsevier BV