Have you heard about our 15-minute podcast series, ‘15 minutes to develop your research career’?
The latest episode explores the unspoken challenges of research life, tackling important issues that aren’t always talked about openly. Among these are the challenges often faced by women in research or those from minority ethnic backgrounds, which can adversely affect career progression.
In this latest editor insight, Yana Suchy tells us about the steps she’s taking to promote diversity within the Editorial Board of her journal, The Clinical Neuropsychologist.
Yana Suchy, Editor-in-Chief, The Clinical Neuropsychologist
As a journal editor or an editorial board member, have you noticed the demographic make-up of your editorial board? Does it look diverse to you?
I asked myself these questions three years ago and quickly came to realize that women and professionals from different ethnic backgrounds were under-represented on the editorial boards of journals in the field of clinical neuropsychology. While I couldn’t change what other journal editors were doing, I decided to effect some changes in my own journal. Here’s what the situation looked like then:
Gender diversity in TCN
Based on survey findings (Sweet et al., 2015), the proportion of female professionals in the field of clinical neuropsychology was 53% in 2015. However, women made up just 23% of the TCN editorial board in 2015.
Ethnic & racial diversity in TCN
Survey findings (Sweet et al., 2015) also showed that non-Caucasian professionals in the field of clinical neuropsychology had increased to 11.7% in 2015. But only an estimated 2% of the TCN board members were ethnically and racially diverse in 2015.
What’s been done to improve the situation?
To address the issue and create a truly diverse editorial board, we’ve implemented the following initiatives:
- Setting up Gender and Culture Department, appointing two experts on gender and culture as ‘Department Editors’ who helped identified potential qualified board members
- Presenting at the journal’s society meetings to educate members about editorship
- Announcing changes on the TCN social media outlets
- Expressing personal encouragement to potential board members who were women or who were of diverse backgrounds
- Inviting identified women and individuals of diverse backgrounds to join the editorial board
What were the results?
These efforts resulted in a significant increase of women members on the TCN editorial board - from 23% to 50% by 2018, which means we now have 30 women out of 60 editorial board members. The number of racially and ethnically diverse individuals has also increased from 2% to 13% by 2018.
What are the next steps?
The results are very encouraging. Based on what we have learned from this process, we also plan to implement a data tracking process and a mentoring system to further improve diversity on the TCN editorial board.
References: Sweet, J.J., Benson, L.M., Nelson N.W., & Moberg, P.J. (2015). The American Academy of Clinical Neuropsychology, National Academy of Neuropsychology, and Society for Clinical Neuropsychology (APA Division 40) 2015 TCN Professional Practice and ‘Salary Survey’: Professional Practices, Beliefs, and Incomes of U.S. Neuropsychologists. TCN, 29, 1069-1162
On the Author Services Insights blog, PhD researcher Verity Posthewaite shares her experiences and views on the relationship between gender and publishing, reflecting on some of the issues raised within the podcast.