Gender equity in rheumatology leadership in the Asia-Pacific
Khursheed T., Ovseiko PV., Harifi G., Badsha H., Cheng YK., Hill CL., Haq SA., Danda D., Gupta L.
Abstract Objectives This study aimed to explore gender equity in rheumatology leadership in the Asia-Pacific region as represented by the member national organizations (MNOs) of the Asia-Pacific League of Associations for Rheumatology (APLAR). Methods We conducted a retrospective cross-sectional review of gender representation among the presidents of MNOs of APLAR in April 2022. We used the official website of each organization to acquire names and terms in the office of current and past presidents of each organization. The binary gender of each president was estimated using the name-to-gender inference platform Gender API (https://gender-api.com/). Proportions of male and female presidents were estimated for each organization. Data were compared for presidencies commencing before and in/after the year 2000. Results We found a significant gap in gender parity, with most presidents in the region being men (210 of 252, 83%). More than one-third (7 of 19, 36.8%) of the MNOs had all male presidents, although the proportion of women improved from 7 to 25% in/after 2000 (P = 0.0002). A statistically significant increase in female representation was observed in Australia (P = 0.0268, from 7 to 39%) and New Zealand (P = 0.0011, where the proportion of female presidents increased from 0 to 45%), but not in other countries. Conclusion A significant gap in gender parity exists in rheumatology leadership in the MNOs of APLAR. Trends suggest improvement over the last two decades, although statistically significant improvement is limited to a small number of countries.