N – Editorial boards lack women

Women made up only a fifth (21%) of the editorial boards in 2005, although they were far worse represented in 1970, with just 1% of positions, a 35 year study of 16 prominent biomedical journals has shown (Arch Intern Med 2008;168:547-8). Seven per cent of the journals’ chief editors have been women, but having a female editor made no significant difference to the sex distribution of the board. Women were better represented in specialty clinical journals, such as the Pediatrics, and general medical journals, such as the BMJ, than in biomedical science journals, such as Cell. In an accompanying editorial (p 446) Nanette Wenger calls for journals to “explore their ranks for gender diversity.”