Gender Inclusion in Scientific Authorship: The only way is up! 

Header image for an article on the Gender Inclusion in Scientific Publications for International Women's day 2024


8 March is International Women’s Day. This year’s theme is Inspire Inclusion and encourages people around the world to share the importance of women’s inclusion whether it’s in the workplace, in decision making or in society in general.

According to the official IWD website: “When we inspire others to understand and value women’s inclusion, we forge a better world.”

As a global healthcare communications agency, Porterhouse Medical is proud to support this important initiative so, to mark the day, our article looks at the prominence of female authors and benefits of gender inclusion in scientific publications.

According to a 10-year study published by Giannos et al. last year, the proportion of women who are engaged academically and professionally across the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) has been increasing in recent decades [1]. Female first authorship has increased by 19.6% over the 10 years in the PLoS journals that were reviewed, and female last authorship increased by 3.2%.

Overall, in >250,000 articles, 43.3% of first authors and 26.7% of last authors were female.

However, the underrepresentation of female authors persists so there’s still a lot of work to do. To highlight the importance of this task , below we look at the many benefits of gender inclusion in scientific publications and medical education:

  1. Representation and Diversity of Perspectives: Different genders bring unique perspectives and experiences to scientific education. Including a variety of voices in publications ensures a more comprehensive understanding of various subjects. Publishing papers written by women enhances the diversity of thought and enriches educational output.
  2. Addressing Gender Bias and Stereotypes: Historically, STEM fields have been dominated by men, leading to biases and stereotypes that can influence research topics, methodologies, and conclusions. Publishing scientific papers written by women, contributes to a more balanced and equitable representation of knowledge.
  3. Inspiration and Role Modelling: Seeing women’s contributions in scientific papers can inspire other women and girls to pursue careers in medical education and STEM related fields. When women see themselves represented in scientific publications, they are more likely to believe in their own abilities and aspirations.
  4. Advancing Gender Equality: Promoting the visibility and recognition of women’s scientific work is essential for advancing gender equality in STEM. It helps to break down barriers and create more inclusive environments where women can thrive and contribute meaningfully to scientific debate.
  5. Enhancing Research Quality: Including diverse perspectives in medical research improves the overall quality and rigor of scholarship. Women offer unique insights and approaches that can lead to innovative research findings and methodologies. By diversifying the authorship of educational papers, the industry can foster a more robust and comprehensive knowledge base.
  6. Addressing Underrepresented Topics: Women’s perspectives often shed light on issues and topics that may have been historically overlooked. By amplifying women’s voices through publications, authors can address gaps in knowledge and contribute to a more holistic understanding of various subjects.
  7. Creating Inclusive Learning Environments: Educational papers written by women contribute to creating inclusive learning environments where diverse perspectives are valued and respected. This benefits all students by exposing them to a broader range of ideas and encouraging critical thinking and engagement with different viewpoints.

In summary, having scientific papers written by women and having women scientists’ contribution fully recognised in terms of authorship, is essential for achieving diversity in educational information, improving research quality, addressing underrepresented topics, and ultimately inspiring future generations of female scientists and healthcare professionals.

Likewise, the movement to inspire the inclusion of more women in STEM careers and STEM publication recognition, is an important goal and one fully supported by Porterhouse. Indeed, as the study by Giannos et al suggests, the only way is up.

#IWD2024 #InspireInclusion


  1. Giannos P, Katsikas Triantafyllidis K, Paraskevaidi M, et al. Female Dynamics in Authorship of Scientific Publications in the Public Library of Science: A 10-year Bibliometric Analysis of Biomedical Research. Eur J Investig Health Psychol Educ. 2023 Jan 20;13(2):228-237. doi: 10.3390/ejihpe13020018. PMID: 36826202; PMCID: PMC9955408. Available at Female Dynamics in Authorship of Scientific Publications in the Public Library of Science: A 10-year Bibliometric Analysis of Biomedical Research – PMC ( . Accessed 6/3/2024.