Clin Colon Rectal Surg 2023; 36(05): 299-302
DOI: 10.1055/s-0043-1763517
Review Article

The History of Women Leaders in Colon and Rectal Surgery

Ann C. Lowry
1   Division of Colon and Rectal Surgery, Department of Surgery, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota
› Author Affiliations


Women started to enter the specialty of colon and rectal surgery in the early 1970s. However, it was rare for a woman to hold a leadership position in the specialty before 2000. Since then, considerable progress has been made, although the percentage of women leaders does not yet approach the percentage of women in the field. This article focuses on the history of women in leadership positions in the American Board of Colon and Rectal Surgery, the American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons, the American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons Research Foundation, and the Association of Program Directors in Colon and Rectal Surgery as well the Diseases of the Colon and Rectum and academic departments. Early women leaders shared some common attributes that have contributed to their success. This article reviews some barriers to increasing the number of women in leadership positions; most will be reviewed in other sections in this issue.

Publication History

Article published online:
29 March 2023

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