President of the American College of Radiology (ACR), Geraldine McGinty is also a radiologist and the chief strategy officer, as well as the chief contracting officer, at Weill Cornell Medicine (New York City, USA). She presented the InspIRed Lecture at the 2021 meeting of the Society of Interventional Radiology (SIR; 20–26 March, online) and offered her reflections on “being a first”. In May 2018, McGinty was elected chair of the Board of Chancellors of ACR, the first woman to hold this office in the society’s nearly 100-year history.
McGinty discusses the state of female representation within interventional radiology, how far things have come and what more needs to be done. “We are certainly not where we need to be” in this regard says McGinty, who explains that roughly only 8% of IRs in the US are women.
McGinty outlines some of the main barriers to adoption and notes that a “really powerful deterrent is when you are not seeing women leader and women role models”. She goes on to explain that this is where the Society of Interventional Radiology and the Women in IR group have “done such a terrific job in highlighting pioneering women”.
Attracting more women to IR early in their careers is vital. “We have to connect with students early in their training” says McGinty who adds that having “robust medical outreach is critically important to increasing the diversity of the specialty overall”.
She also draws on her own experience as the first chair of the American College of Radiology, noting that she “wasn’t the first woman who could have done it or should have done it”. “I’d like to think that I’ve opened the doors for other women”, McGinty adds, concluding that it is “not success if it’s just you; you have to help the next woman up”.