In a first, the Lancet group of journals will on Friday announce a new Diversity Pledge and No All-Male Panel Policy as part of its commitment to increase gender equity, diversity and inclusion in research and publishing.
Six months ago, The Lancet published a theme issue on women in science, medicine and global health (#LancetWomen) that raised concerns about systemic gender bias impeding the advancement of and equity for women in these fields.
Lancet editors acknowledged that women, people of colour, and colleagues from the Global South were vastly under-represented in author, reviewer and editorial positions across all scientific and medical journals. Research shows that less than a third of authors and reviewers in high-impact medical journals are women.
Dr Jocalyn Clark, Executive Editor of The Lancet, told The Indian Express via email that part of the motivation for Lancet’s diversity pledge and no all-male panel policy, and the theme issue was the growing recognition of the extent to which gender inequities create barriers to women’s advancement and rights within the scientific and health workplaces.
As part of the Lancet Group’s commitment, all its 18 medical journals have adopted the Diversity Pledge and No All-Male Panel Policy. With reference to India, Dr Clark said that like the #TimesUp movement, in India the #metoobrought the scale of harassment and inequity to the forefront of public conversations.
“This is a welcome move. Hopefully other Indian journals will follow it,” said Dr Aarti Kinikar, HOD, Paediatrics, at Pune’s B J Government Medical College.