Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Systematic review of interventions to improve gender equity in graduate medicine


Women are substantially underrepresented in senior and leadership positions in medicine and experience gendered challenges in their work settings. This systematic review aimed to synthesise research that has evaluated interventions for improving gender equity in medicine. English language electronic searches were conducted across MEDLINE, CINAHL, Academic Search Complete, PsycINFO and Web of Science. Reference list screening was also undertaken. Peer-reviewed studies published between 2000 and March 2020 that evaluated interventions to improve gender equity, or the experiences of women, in academic or clinical medicine were reviewed. Dual reviewer data extraction on setting, participants, type of intervention, measurement and outcomes was completed. Methodological rigour and strength of findings were evaluated. In total, 34 studies were included. Interventions were typically focused on equipping the woman (82.4%), that is, delivering professional development activities for women. Fewer focused on changing cultures (20.6%), ensuring equal opportunities (23.5%) or increasing the visibility or valuing of women (23.5%). Outcomes were largely positive (87.3%) but measurement typically relied on subjective, self-report data (69.1%). Few interventions were implemented in clinical settings (17.6%). Weak methodological rigour and a low strength of findings was observed. There has been a focus to-date on interventions which Equip the Woman. Interventions addressing systems and culture change require further research consideration. However, institutions cannot wait on high quality research evidence to emerge to take action on gender equity. Data collated suggest a number of recommendations pertaining to research on, and the implementation of, interventions to improve gender equity in academic and clinical settings.

  • human resource management
  • medical education & training
  • general medicine (see internal medicine)

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.