International Women`s Day Commentary
Happy Women's month! If you are yet to celebrate your awesomeness this month, I hope this blog encourages you to do so. The United Nations originally commemorated International Women's day in 1975, a year that would later be referred to as the International Women's Year. In 1977, the United Nations declared 8th March as a United Nations Day, to be commemorated every year in honor of women. In 2022, the theme for this great day was “Break the Bias”. This campaign is aimed at addressing and breaking biases that keep women from reaching their full potential. Efforts are aimed at advocating for diversity, equity, and inclusion and learning about the unfortunate realities that women face which include racism, microaggressions, and discrimination.
Here at BWICR, we would like to focus the spotlight on black women in the area of medicine and clinical research. The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) reports that only 36% of doctors in the United States are women. The percentage is even lower for black women with a separate report revealing that only 2.6% of practicing physicians in the United States are Black women. These figures point out the huge lack of diversity and inclusion of black women in medicine. Unfortunately, these statistics are similar even to black women undergoing clinical trials. For instance, in clinical trials for women affected by uterine fibroids, only 15% are black women.
The necessity of having an inclusive and diverse workforce in medicine, and clinical research cannot go unmentioned. Black physicians are better placed to understand, articulate, and be attentive to medical conditions especially those that are highly susceptible to the black population. Unfortunately, black physicians face a significantly higher amount of barriers that cause underrepresentation in the medical workforce including lower access to education, healthcare, and finances. Additionally, black physicians also face barriers when job seeking that include unconscious bias and prejudice. Uche Blackstock, a public health expert, believes that working towards a more diverse workforce as well as creating advocacy is essential in increasing the number of black healthcare professionals.
The Black Women in Clinical Research (BWICR) network aims at increasing diversity and equity by empowering and supporting black women in the clinical industry. Through using tools and networks created by the network, black women in clinical research have been empowered to achieve success in their career fields. Join our Facebook community today as we break the bias in Clinical Research!