Is there gender bias in global health consulting? (4)

9 October, 2019

Dear HIFA colleagues,

Siân Williams from the International Primary Care Respiratory Group in the UK raised an interesting question in response to a post I made a while ago (see

To quote her:

"2. I have a question. In my limited experience, there is a gender bias in this global health world. Whilst the bulk of the world's health care providers are women, it seems to me that there are far more men in senior advisory positions. If travelling and spending time in-country is a requirement (one of the top ten fixes) is that one of the reasons why? My instinct is that even if their experience, communication skills and insight are equal, there are more women than men who are juggling the demands of being a carer at home and aren't able to commit to these requirements.

I truly welcome debate- am I being unfair? If not, how do we overcome it?"

Has any research been conducted on this, or do members have views, personal experiences or anecdotes to share with others? Perhaps they have knowledge from other similar fields?

Best wishes


HIFA Profile: Julie N Reza is a UK-based specialist in communications for biosciences, global health & international development ( She predominantly works with NGOs and not-for-profit organisations. Previously she was the senior science editor at TDR, based at the World Health Organization (WHO) in Geneva; prior to this she worked at the Wellcome Trust, UK, leading educational projects on international health topics including trypanosomiasis and trachoma. She has a PhD in immunology and a specialist degree in science communication. She also has several years research and postgraduate teaching experience. She is a member of the HIFA Steering Group and HIFA Social Media Working Group.

Email: naimareza AT