How do you get more women as speakers at science conferences? Invite more to be on teams responsible for creating conference programs. A piece on MedPage Today looks at research on gender representation during two meetings sponsored by the American Society for Microbiology.
Tracking 1,845 speakers across 460 symposia, the authors found that "having at least one woman member of the convening team correlated with a significantly higher proportion of invited female speakers and reduced the likelihood of an all-male symposium roster." The study continues, "Our results suggest that inclusion of more women as conveners may increase the proportion of women among invited speakers at scientific meetings."
From MedPage Today:
Specifically, among 244 sessions at [the Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy (ICAAC), of the conferences studied] from 2011-2013, "145 were convened by male-only convener teams, and 99 had at least one female in the convener team." They found that "inclusion of at least one woman in the convening team was associated with 72% more female-invited speakers than symposia organized by all-male teams. Inclusion of at least one woman in the convening team significantly reduced the number of sessions with all-male rosters. In 2013, almost half of the sessions organized by all-male convener teams included only men in the speaker roster."
The article discusses other commentary on the lack of female presence on health-care stages, linking to a recent Rock Health infographic breaking down the gender divide at the major conferences of 2013. Of those ranked, Stanford Medicine X lead the way with 38 percent female speakers.
Previously: XX in Health: Women Leading Healthcare conversation begins today, Stanford Gendered Innovations program offers tools for improving scientific research, Hannah Valantine: Leading the way in diversifying medicine and Advancing the careers of women in academic medicine
Photo by Stanford Medicine X