Perceptions of Gender Disparities Among Women in Cardiothoracic Anesthesiology

Emily Methangkool, Jessica Brodt, Lavinia Kolarczyk, Natalia S. Ivascu, Megan H. Hicks, Elizabeth Herrera, Daryl Oakes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Objective: In this study of women in cardiothoracic anesthesiology, the authors aimed to characterize demographics, roles in leadership, and perceived professional challenges. Design: A prospective cross-sectional survey of female cardiothoracic anesthesiologists in the United States. Setting: An internet-based survey of 43 questions was sent to women in cardiothoracic anesthesiology. The survey included questions on demographics, leadership, and perceptions of professional challenges including career advancement, compensation, promotion, harassment, and intimidation. Participants: A database of women in cardiothoracic anesthesiology was created via personal contacts and snowball sampling. Interventions: None. Measurements and Main Results: A total of 153 responses were analyzed, for a response rate of 65.1%. Most respondents were at the Clinical Instructor or Assistant Professor rank. Many women perceived that compensation, promotion, authorship, and career advancement were affected by gender. Furthermore, 67% of respondents identified having children as having a negative impact on career advancement. Many women reported experiencing derogatory comments (55.6%), intimidation (57.8%), microaggression (69.6%), sexual harassment (25.2%), verbal harassment (45.2%), and unwanted physical or sexual advances (24.4%). These behaviors were most often from a surgical attending, anesthesia attending, or patient. Conclusion: This survey study of women in cardiothoracic anesthesiology found that many women perceived inequities in financial compensation, authorship opportunities, and promotion; in addition, many felt that their career advancement was impacted negatively by having children. A striking finding was that the majority of women have experienced intimidation, derogatory comments, and microaggressions in the workplace.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1859-1866
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Cardiothoracic and Vascular Anesthesia
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2022


  • cardiac anesthesiology
  • gender
  • gender disparities
  • professional development
  • representation
  • women
  • women in anesthesiology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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