Message from the Dean for Gender Equity in Science in Medicine

It speaks volumes about Mount Sinai Health System’s commitment to gender equity that we now have dedicated focus on gender equity in science and medicine at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai (ISMMS). By creating a dean-level position, we elevate the importance and our commitment to providing all faculty, students, and trainees with support for success. Our purpose is to ensure that all have the experience of being valued without bias relating to gender identity or gender expression.

Like many physicians and scientists, I am no stranger to unprofessional and inequitable treatment. Nationally and internationally, inequitable treatment is being brought forth, recognized, and addressed. At ISMMS, the structure and climate have begun to change in tangible ways. Dennis S. Charney, MD, Anne and Joel Ehrenkranz Dean of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and President for Academic Affairs for the Mount Sinai Health System, and the faculty and staff recognize that women cannot thrive in a toxic environment. Under his leadership, we have increased the number of women in key leadership positions (deans, department chairs, and institute directors), from zero to 20 in less than a decade. Our leaders are more focused than ever before on diversity and wellness, and are working across our institution to achieve equity.

It is within this evolving climate that our Office for Gender Equity in Science and Medicine is forming. In partnership with people and offices across our institution, we are carefully looking at all aspects of the professional experience for people of all genders, and finding ways to improve it. As Dean of Gender Equity in Science and Medicine, I am passionate about ensuring that the positive experiences I have had here are universal. To that end, I will bring renewed rigor to the School, based on my experience and what I learn from you, our trainees, faculty, doctors, and scientists.

Part of my role involves reaching out to my constituents: trainees and faculty, physicians, and scientists. Our team will meet with you individually and in groups to gather information about your experiences and perceptions. We will identify past or current inequities to correct imbalances in compensation, hiring, and evaluating performance. We will develop and implement a zero-tolerance policy for gender bias or harassment. And we will focus on raising awareness of and creating opportunities to promote equity throughout the Health System. Based on experience, local and national best practices, and input from people across the Mount Sinai community, we will develop and deploy programs to increase inclusiveness, improve quality of life, and strengthen recruitment and retention.

I look forward to collaborating with our leadership to meet these goals.

Gender inequity, mistreatment, harassment and lack of professionalism are no longer accepted or tolerated in any form at Mount Sinai. We are here to listen to you, learn with you, and take concrete, tangible actions to achieve equity. If you have suggestions or concerns, please reach out to me or another member of the team. Together we can create equity for all genders today and for a better future, and set an example for others to follow.

Carol R. Horowitz, MD, MPH
Professor of Population Health Science and Policy
Professor of Medicine
Dean for Gender Equity in Science and Medicine