Breaking the Glass Ceiling: An Appreciative Inquiry and Recommendations for Faculty Gender Equity and Inclusivity in the UBC Faculty of Medicine (FoM)

Welcome and thanks for your interest in our project!

Attaining gender equity in senior leadership and in senior faculty roles in the Faculty of Medicine remains surprisingly challenging. Many solutions have been suggested in the literature, but there has been less focus on systemic and structural changes that would remove barriers for, and embrace the strengths and abilities of, women and gender diverse faculty members, particularly those who are visibly racialized, thereby enabling their success in senior faculty and leadership roles.

We are interested in your ideas about how the university, faculty and your department/unit can work toward gender equity. We would like to build on your past experiences, your vision of the ideal workplace and your ideas for concrete actions that can be taken. We invite you to further explore this website, encourage you to consider participating, and look forward to any questions you may have.

Upcoming – Join One of Our Focus Groups!

Some of you have participated in surveys or interviews – thank you. As part of this project, we are hosting focus groups of women and gender diverse faculty members to review the findings and recommendations and invite further feedback and refinement prior to submitting the final report. We would love for you to join us so please consider participating in one of our sessions listed below.


  • Monday October 23, 10 – 11:30 AM
  • Monday October 23, 2:30 – 4 PM
  • Friday October 27, 9:30 – 11 AM

To register to attend a focus group, please click here. We will send themes and recommendations to you up to 2 weeks in advance (or once you are registered) such that you will have had time to read and reflect.

Recent Events

On June 7, our core researchers participated in the 2nd virtual Annual Symposium titled, Disrupting the Status Quo: Intersecting Inequities Impacting Women in the FoM and Opportunities for Change,” hosted by the UBC Faculty of Medicine (FoM) Office of Respectful Environments, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (REDI).

The symposium was held virtually on Wednesday, June 7, 2023 from 9:30 AM to 1:30 PM.

Our research team members participated as panelists and shared project objectives, preliminary findings, and critical reflections.

Symposium Description:

The rise of women in the Faculty of Medicine has not been matched by a proportionate rise in appointment to senior leadership roles. Despite some gains, women, particularly those who are visibly racialized, are under-represented in senior leadership roles within the Faculty. In the absence of access to, and participation in, the conversations and decision-making critical to effecting transformative change, women have limited opportunity to disrupt the status quo.

During this event, we will hear from a diverse group of women about their perspectives on leadership, opportunities and barriers in the context of health professions practice, education and research. We will center intersectionality and the differentiated experiences of women as we critically examine how current academic systems and hierarchies create additional barriers for women and ideas for change.

With gratitude, we acknowledge that the University of British Columbia Faculty of Medicine and its distributed programs, which include four university academic campuses, are located on traditional, ancestral and unceded territories of Indigenous peoples around the province.

We respectfully acknowledge that the UBC Vancouver-Point Grey academic campus is located on the traditional, ancestral, unceded territory of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), and UBC operations in Vancouver more generally are also on the territories of the Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish) and səl̓ilwətaɁɬ (Tsleil-Waututh).

We respectfully acknowledge that the UBC Okanagan academic campus is situated on the traditional, ancestral, unceded territory of the Syilx Okanagan Nation.

We respectfully acknowledge that the University of Northern BC Prince George campus is located on the traditional territory of the Lheidli T’enneh, who are part of the Dakelh (Carrier) First Nations.

We acknowledge and respect the lək̓ʷəŋən peoples on whose traditional territories the University of Victoria is located and the Songhees, Esquimalt and W̱SÁNEĆ peoples whose historical relationships with the land continue to this day.

We also acknowledge and thank that this project has been funded via the UBC Faculty of Medicine Strategic Investment Fund.