In the longitudinal study, Dr. Carolin Lerchenmüller, Leo Schmallenbach, Prof. Dr. Anupam B. Jena and Prof. Dr. Marc Lerchenmüller examine whether the global COVID-19 pandemic had an effect on the gender gap in first authorships in the life sciences. By comparing the share of women first authors on publications in selected journals and research areas since the start of the pandemic to publications in the same time frame one year earlier, they found that female first authors have been under-represented in COVID-related research. The increase in the gender gap on COVID-related publications was particularly severe at the beginning of the pandemic and in fields that had a relatively equal share of women and men first authors before COVID-19. The study highlights how the pandemic magnifies deep-rooted obstacles on the way to gender equity in scientific contribution.
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