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Female Surgeons (NUH - NHS Obstetricians)


The Week in Women: Surgeon selfies, bountiful brains, and Google’s gender gap

By Brigit Katz on April 14, 2017

This week’s news cycle (like every other facet of the modern world) was dominated by science and tech. Let’s take a look back, shall we?

Female surgeons are flooding Twitter with worm’s-eye selfies, thanks to a rather lovely New Yorker cover. For an issue focusing on health and body image, the magazine ran a cover depicting four female surgeons in scrubs and masks, who seem to be peering over a patient. Malika Favre, the cover’s designer, said “it wasn’t about making a statement.” But the drawing nevertheless struck a chord among female surgeons, who constitute just 19 percent of the field. Doctors gathered together to recreate the cover, and presumably went back to saving lives like it’s no biggie.

The U.S. Department of Labor has accused Google of “extreme” discrimination, citing a systemic gender pay gap between male and female employees at the company. A regional solicitor for the department, which has filed a lawsuit against Google, claims it has already uncovered evidence of gender discrimination. Google countered by saying that the company has closed the gender and racial wage gaps globally, according to an undisclosed internal analysis. It’s impossible to say whether this mysterious analysis has confused “closing the gender gap” with “publishing the occasional doodle of accomplished women.”

Female professors take on more work than their male colleagues and devote more time to internal services (department meetings, clubs, etc.), according to a new study. A team of experts in sociology and public policy surveyed 19,000 faculty members from more than 143 universities and colleges. They found that female faculty members perform about 30 minutes more service per week and engage in 1.5 more service activities per year than their male professors. This in turn may take away from female professors’ research time, putting them at a disadvantage in universities’ high-stress, “publish or perish” atmospheres. There is no quick fix to the situation, but the study’s authors suggest that a re-evaluation of the rewards system for professors involved in service would be a good place to start. After all, those Latin revival clubs aren’t going to run themselves.

A new study has found that men have larger brains than women, but women have thicker cortexes— a feature commonly associated with intelligence. Researchers looked at the brains of more than 5,200 individuals older than 40, approximately half of whom were women. MRI scans showed that women’s brains had larger sub-regions of the cortex, which governs memory, sensory input, learning, and decision-making. These structural differences aren’t significant enough to let scientists determine a person’s gender by looking at the brain, but in our highly unprofessional opinion, the findings confirm what we have long known to be true: no woman is capable of doing this.