23rd Annual Women of the ANA Annual Luncheon - Paving a Path Forward for Women Despite Challenges in Academic Neurology: A Focus on Solutions*

Interactive Roundtable

Date/Time: Sunday, September 10, 2023 - 11:45 AM – 12:45 PM
Track: Additional Interactive Lunch Workshop
Room: Salons A-B (5th Floor)
Log in to Add to My Schedule


Session Evaluation Form: https://myana.org/form/ana2023-session-evaluation-23rd-

Chair: Christa Nobleza, MD

Co-Chair: Shilpi Mittal, MD

The challenges experienced by women in academic neurology encompass multifactorial and multilayer issues (1). Until now, women continue to face challenges exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic from lack of time, financial challenges, labor and staffing shortages, and personal protected space (1, 2). Women face different societal and career expectations that need a unique approach when discussing solutions. These challenges are faced by trainees, early-, mid- and late-career women in academic neurology. Specific issues on mentorship, professional development, sponsorship, academic and clinical productivity, implicit bias have been tackled before however, discussions on actionable solutions have been limited. This session is unique in that the focus of the round tables are to discuss the solutions to known challenges faced by women in academic medicine. Experts and advocates of professional development for women in academic neurology are going to lead the round table discussions. Three round tables with themes including: Gender disparities in academic Neurology; The role of departmental leadership in women professional development advocacy and The role of policies and procedures and women advocacy. The initial part of the session will be each expert panel discussing their experience as it pertains to women challenges and some actionable solutions they explored. It is followed by 20-minute round table discussions were attendees will move through each table and participate in this interactive session.

Learning Objectives:

  • Following this session, the learners will be better prepared to propose solutions to challenges associated with gender disparity in their respective institutions. 
  • Following this session, the learners will be able to have conversations with their departmental leadership to discuss challenges and proposed solutions for challenges faced by women in their respective institutions. 
  • Following this session, the learners will be able to apply their knowledge of policies and procedures as it applies to challenges faced by women in academic neurology.

Review of Gender and Racial Disparities in Academic Neurology and Potential Solutions

Speaker: Sima Patel, MD

Intersection of gender, race and ethnicity in academic medicine is understudied. The Women in Neurology Collaborative Study surveyed 462 faculty from 19 U.S. neurology departments (55% women, 43% men). Participants completed a survey to report rank, leadership positions, publications, funded projects, awards, and speaker invitations. We investigated effects of gender, race/ethnicity, and their combined effects on scholarly achievements. We found disparities in professor rank, leadership positions, funded projects, awards and speaking invitations. During the interactive workshop few slides will review these disparities and then we will briefly discuss opportunities for awareness and potential solutions.

Legal Protections for Working Mothers: Things Are Looking Up

Speaker: Deborah Bradshaw MD, FAAN

This session reviews federal and other regulatory protections for lactating mothers in the workplace.

The role of department leadership in women’s professional development and advocacy

Speaker: Lazar John Greenfield, MD, PhD, FANA

We will address flexibility of scheduling and openness to part-time work schedules, relaxation of the tenure and promotions process to account for childbirth and maternity leave, ensuring that women faculty feel supported for taking as long as needed for maternity leave, scheduling departmental meetings so they don’t conflict with day care drop off or pick-up times, etc. We will also focus on how to ensure that women’s concerns are heard and addressed at the division and department level, and how to create a safe and respectful culture within the department.