Women in Cardiology: An Update

Take Home Messages
  • There continues to be an under-representation of women in cardiology as a career, although recent data suggests this is improving
  • Gender discrimination and the difficulty in maintaining a healthy work-life balance in this competitive field are some of the major barriers faced by women.
  • Bullying, harassment and negative attitude in cardiology is prevalent and should not be tolerated.
  • The British Cardiovascular Society and Women in Cardiology groups have made innumerable contributions and efforts to help women overcome these barriers.


A large number of career-oriented and ambitious women are drawn towards cardiology (1). The percentage of women joining medical school is growing remarkably but that does not translate into similar stratified proportions in specialties like cardiology (1). Indeed, evidence suggests that recruiting a greater proportion of female Cardiologists may result in better patient outcomes.

According to a recent study, the likelihood of misdiagnosis of cardiac conditions in females is as high as 50% and the chances are much higher if the treating physician is a male. Similarly, the survival rates were reported to be lower in female patients admitted with a myocardial infarction if they were treated by a male doctor (4). Innumerable efforts have been made towards reducing gender disparities in fields like internal medicine which have noted a surge of women in recruitment by up to 40%. However, the numbers remain as low as 20% for women in cardiology and only 4% for interventional cardiology (2).

In 2019, a prior British Cardiovascular Society (BCS) editorial highlighted some of the challenges faced by women in cardiology and also identified the reasons behind their underrepresentation in the field (3). In this editorial, we aim to provide an update on the previously reported challenges and also discuss some unaddressed issues faced by women in cardiology. What are these barriers, what is being done, and what more can be done to help improve the situation