In our latest longitudinal study published in BMJ Open (April 2021 issue) my co-authors, Dr. Carolin Lerchenmueller, Leo Schmallenbach, Prof. Dr. Anupam B. Jena and me examine whether the global COVID-19 pandemic had an effect on the gender gap in first authorships in the life sciences. By comparing the share of women first authors on publications in selected journals and research areas since the start of the pandemic to publications in the same time frame one year earlier, they found that female first authors have been under-represented in COVID-19-related research particularly at the beginning of the pandemic. The reduction in women’s COVID-19-related research output appears particularly concerning as many disciplines informing the response to the pandemic had near equal gender shares of first authorship in the year prior to the pandemic. This is a global phenomenon with almost every geographical area affected. Even though our analysis leads us to be cautiously optimistic that the reduced women’s COVID-19 research activity might have been temporary, we worry that the absence of many expert women voices during the initial response to the pandemic impacted individuals and society! The acute productivity drain magnifies deep-rooted obstacles on the way to gender equity in scientific contribution.
You can read the complete article here: https://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/11/4/e045176
This is a global phenomenon with almost every geographical area affected