PURPOSE: To examine the gender balance of academic ophthalmology departments by determining the association between the rates of female residents in ophthalmology programs and department chair/residency program director (PD) gender and rate of female faculty within the department. DESIGN: Retrospective cross-sectional study. METHODS: Demographic information on ophthalmology programs, including size, location, and gender distribution of leadership, faculty, and residents was collected from public online resources. Departments with residency programs were included for analyses if they were both Accreditation Council Graduate Medical Education accredited and available for application through the San Francisco Match for the 2020-2021 application cycle. For analyses, a binomial regression was fitted to identify factors associated with the female faculty and resident proportions. RESULTS: In 117 total programs, 16.7% of chairs and 37.7% of PDs were female. There were more female residents at programs with female PDs (P =.02), with more female faculty (P <.001), and at larger departments (P =.001) and residency programs (P =.04). In multivariate analysis, more female faculty members increased the odds of having more female residents (P <.001). Chair gender did not correlate with the proportion of female faculty or residents. There were the most female residents in the Northeast and the fewest in the Southwest (P =.003). CONCLUSIONS: Although gender of department chair did not correlate with proportion of female faculty or residents, programs with more female faculty members had more female residents. Deans and programs should strive for departmental diversity and the recruitment and success of female residents to ensure the use of their full academic capital.
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