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Global Health Community Should Address Gender Imbalance In Leadership Roles

In the Center for Global Development’s (CGD) blog, Victoria Fan, a research fellow at the Center for Global Development (CGD), and Rachel Silverman, a research assistant for the global health team at CGD, examine the role of women in leadership positions in the global health field, writing, “From our own experience within the global health ecosystem, it’s hard not to notice the relative paucity of women at the top ranks of academia and global health institutions, despite obvious female majorities in global health student bodies and among junior researchers.” Fan and Silverman provide examples and statistics showing the imbalance, and write, “[T]he world of global health should take this issue head-on to determine what the root causes are behind this imbalance, and what needs to be changed within each individual institution.” They suggest “global health agencies along with universities, departments of global health, and associated consortia … consider commissioning a report to rigorously examine whether gender imbalances are occurring,” and they conclude, “[E]quitable and balanced global health leadership is itself a noble goal — one that is feasible within our lifetimes if key institutions demonstrate thoughtful and genuine leadership in this space” (5/20).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.