When we gathered five years ago, at the annual RSNA conference in November 2016 to kick off RADxx, we could only hope that our initiative would make the kind of impact that we aspired to. Despite significant progress being made in the U.S. to increase the overall representation of women in healthcare, radiology has lagged behind. In fact, only about a quarter of active radiologists in the country are women, according to a 2016 Association of American Medical Colleges report.
The lack of representation gets further entrenched across the industry through fewer women participating in speaking engagements, represented on boards, or in other leadership positions. When women see other women speaking, when they read their byline in an academic journal, when they see other women serving in leadership positions in colleges and on boards, they see that not everyone in radiology looks the same. Many will say to themselves, “that could be me,” which in turn fosters a virtuous cycle and welcoming environment for women to thrive in our specialty.
Fast forward five years from that first RADxx event and the impact of our initiative can be felt across the globe — from regular virtual meet-ups and educational webinars to promoting a speakers’ bureau, recognizing outstanding leadership through an awards program, and even one-on-one mentorship, and most of all, friendship.
We are a robust, growing, and thriving community of women, men, and nonbinary individuals — united in the pursuit of better representation of women in the field of medical imaging and informatics.
But as our organization has grown, so have we. And through conversations with our members, we realized our name is inconsistent with the values and goals of inclusivity to which we aspire. The two female chromosomes to represent women in our name is a narrow and binary view of gender expression that excluded some in our community.
From today forward, RADxx (RAD Women) is becoming RAD= (RAD Equal). Our mission remains the same — to advance the representation of women in radiology and informatics, but our name better reflects the inclusive organization we are. Our pursuit is equality, and now, so is our name.