Sunday, February 2, 2020

Gender equality for invited speakers in Nephrology, comparing to other fields in medicine.

How does Nephrology do compared to other fields in Medicine in terms of female representation at academic conferences?

Here is a breakdown from articles all published in the last 2 years in medicine/surgery

In general medicine vs surgery,  in one study 181 conferences with 701 individual meetings were analyzed, including 100 medical and 81 surgical specialty conferences. The proportion of women ranged from 0% to 82.6% of all speakers. The mean (SD) proportion of female conference speakers for all meetings analyzed significantly increased from 24.6% (14.6%) for 40 meetings in 2007 to 34.1% (15.1%) for 181 meetings in 2017 (P < .001). The mean proportion of female speakers at medical specialty conferences was 9.8% higher (SE, 1.9%; P < .001) than the mean proportion of female speakers at surgical specialty conferences for all years analyzed. 

In dermatology, women spoke less than men at their main conferences. 
In Anesthesiology, when studied in Canada, the representation of women speakers at the their annual meeting was similar to the representation of women in the anesthesiology workforce in Canada over the study period. Gender representation varied widely by subspecialty symposia, subject area, and women were absent from nearly half of all symposia at the annual meetings.
In General Surgery, women remain in the minority of panelists and moderators at their main meetings, and approximately 1 in 5 panels are composed entirely of men. 
In Neurology, at Stroke conferences, women are less likely to be invited speakers.

In colo-rectal conferences, program representation of women was similar to meeting demographics, although with low numbers in some topics. An imbalance in the formality of speaker introductions between genders was observed. This introduction concern was also raised recently at ASCO(Oncology meetings)

Interestingly, at the Critical care conferences, Over the 7 years, Society of Critical Care Medicine had the highest representation of female (27% overall) and nursing/allied health professional (16-25%) speakers; notably, male physicians substantially outnumbered female physicians in all years (62-70% vs 10-19%, respectively)

In our analysis recently published in CJASN time series analyses showed that the proportion of women moderators increased significantly by 3.5% per year (p=0.009, CI 1.2% - 5.9 %), and women speakers increased by 2.3% per year (p=0.001, CI 1.3% - 3.3%). This is impressive and kudos to nephrology leadership and association. Comparing to other specialities outside of internal medicine and within internal medicine( nephrology clearly is leading the way in terms of gender equality in invited speakers are conferences). 


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