School touts pro-women programs despite low male enrollment

Despite a 54 percent gender gap favoring women, the University of Colorado-Anschutz Medical Campus continues to back exclusive retention programs that are not available to men. 

According to Fall 2017 census enrollment data brought to Campus Reform’s attention by a concerned PhD student attending one of the campus’s schools, the Medical Campus had a total enrollment of 1,310 male students and 2,939 female students.

The campus contains all of the University of Colorado’s health schools—including the Colorado School of Public Health, the UC School of Medicine, and the UC School of Pharmacy—all of which offer interlocking programmatic efforts for students. 

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University of Michigan-Flint Economics Professor Mark Perry, who is also a scholar at AEI, told Campus Reform that the gender disparity amounts to a “54 percent gender gap” favoring women, given that there are “219 women for every 100 men in that medical campus.”

Perry explained that “there are only 46 male medical students for every 100 female students, and therefore there is a 54 percent gender gap for male students,” which aligns with a national trend in which fewer men than women are attending college and graduate school.

Despite this, the Anschutz Medical Campus schools still have programs to support the retention, success, and confidence of their female enrollees, but offers no such amenities for male students, who now tend to be less likely to graduate. 

For example, the UC-School of Medicine facilitates three programs to help women in STEM: a “Women in STEM and Science Network,” a “Women and STEM and Science Committee,” and a “Women in STEM Club” that is open to students across the Medical Campus. 

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Abigail Armstrong, president of the Women in STEM club, told Campus Reform that the club facilitates events to address issues that women face while pursuing a career in medicine. 

“Our main programming is monthly lunch hour discussions,” Armstrong said, adding that “previous topics have included mental health, negotiation, imposter syndrome, the confidence gap, casual sexism in the workplace, professionalism, lobbying, and many more.” 

“Overall our goal is to host events that bring together women and allies on campus and the community to talk about topics that might not normally be addressed or learn skills in addition to their science that will help them be successful,” she added.

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In a statement to Campus Reform, UC School of Medicine communications officer Mark Couch reiterated the need to offer additional support for women, stressing that the Medical School’s gender gap is only 12 percent, much less than the campus at large.

There is a “need for continued efforts to ensure professional and educational attainment for women in these fields,” Couch asserted, citing a recent paper on women’s issues by the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine.

He also suggested that efforts to boost women’s success in medical school are still needed because—despite their predominance in classrooms—women are still outnumbered by men among medical school faculty and practicing doctors. 

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @Toni_Airaksinen