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Gender distribution in pathology journal editorial boards: a call to action
  1. Sarah Dry1,
  2. Laura C. Collins2
  1. 1 Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, UCLA, Los Angeles, California, USA
  2. 2 Department of Pathology, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Sarah Dry, Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA; SDry{at}

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The article by Nguyen et al reveals that Pathology, like other medical specialties, has an underrepresentation of women authors,1–7 editorial board members7–10 and editors in chiefs7–11 (EICs) of our journals. While it would be easy to feel discouraged by these findings, instead we have opted to examine how their data reveal the power of community accountability to improve diversity.

The authors’ data, in measures such as first authorship, middle authorship and editorial board composition, show that the percentage of women did not appear to change significantly between the first two time points, with a much larger increase between 2011 and 2021. What changed in the last decade? In this time, we saw increased public conversations around diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI), a broader societal recognition of ongoing biases, public calls for change such as seen in the #MeToo and #Black Lives Matter movements, and new development of strategies to increase diversity by institutions/organisations. At the societal level, these are examples of community accountability and the authors’ data suggest this likely positively influenced improved diversity in Pathology.

However, the authors’ data remind us that despite the successes of societal actions, we need ongoing Pathology community accountability to realise true, lasting, DEI. Since the authors focused on gender, we will as well in this editorial. However, we would like to be clear that we believe Pathology community accountability must cover many different factors including race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, geographic location, institutions, (dis)ability and others.

We believe there are specific actions we as a community can take to hold each other accountable to improve gender equity in authorship, editorial boards and journal …

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  • Handling editor Vikram Deshpande.

  • Contributors Both authors conceived of, gathered relevant information, participated in the writing and editing of this work.

  • 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.

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

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