Gender Representation by Specialty Track at Surgical Meetings: the American and Australasian Experiences
*Allison R Wilcox1, *Christine S Lai2, *Fellicia E Stanzah2, *Jessica G Farrar2, Sandra L Wong1
1Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, Lebanon, NH;2University of Adelaide, The Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Adelaide, Australia
Objective: Increasing attention is being paid to gender representation at surgical meetings worldwide, particularly regarding the number of panels whose speakers are all men. We analyzed the representation of women panelists, as well as the prevalence of men-only panels, at two prominent international academic surgical meetings.
Design: Data were abstracted from meeting programs and gender of panelists was determined. Descriptive analyses were performed.
Setting: American College of Surgeons (ACS) Clinical Congress and Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS) Scientific Congress, 2013-2018.
Patients (or other participants): Panelists at the ACS and RACS meetings.
Main Outcome Measures: 1. Proportion of men-only panels at ACS and RACS by specialty track. 2. Proportion of women panelists at ACS and RACS by specialty track.
Results: From 2013-2018, 30% (205/694) of panels at ACS and 61% (850/1388) of panels at RACS were comprised entirely of men. The specialty tracks with the highest proportion of men-only panels were Transplant (75%) and Cardiothoracic (63%) at ACS, and Cardiothoracic (83%) and Multidisciplinary/General Interest (81%) at RACS (Figure 1). At ACS, 28% (948/3363) of panelists were women compared to 22% (875/3874) at RACS. The highest proportion of women panelists were on panels in Breast (63%) and Endocrine (48%) tracks at ACS, and Education (84%) and Breast (44%) tracks at RACS.
Conclusions: There is a persistent difference in gender representation at surgical meetings, particularly within certain surgical subspecialties. Program chairs of these meetings could improve representation of women by focusing on who serves as panelists overall and within specialty tracks.
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