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Achieving Speaker Gender Equity at the American Society for Microbiology General Meeting.

Casadevall A - MBio (2015)

Bottom Line: The mechanisms associated with increased female participation were (i) making the Program Committee aware of gender statistics, (ii) increasing female representation among session convener teams, and (iii) direct instruction to try to avoid all-male sessions.Historically women have been underrepresented as speakers in many scientific meetings.This article describes concrete steps that were associated with achieving gender equity at a major meeting.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland, USA Acasade1@jhu.edu.

No MeSH data available.


Slide used to charge the Program Committee during the summer 2014 meeting.
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fig2: Slide used to charge the Program Committee during the summer 2014 meeting.

Mentions: In the summer of 2013, the results of the GM gender participation analysis for the years 2011 to 2013, subsequently published in mBio (7), were available and were presented to the Program Committee planning the 2014 meeting in Washington, DC. Two points were made: (i) that female speakers were underrepresented relative to the participation of females in the meeting, with too many all-male sessions, and (ii) that the presence of at least one female convener was associated with a 72% increase in female participation in those sessions and a 70% reduction in the likelihood of an all-male session. The simple intervention of presenting the data from prior meetings was associated with an increase in convener teams comprising at least one woman and an increase in female speaker participation at the 2014 meeting to 43% from an average of 29.6% for the prior 3 years but had no effect on the number of all-male sessions (Fig. 1). In the summer of 2014, the gender statistics from the 2014 meeting (which had occurred 1 month earlier) were again presented to the Program Committee planning the 2015 meeting, together with an analysis of trends in recent years. However, on that occasion, the committee was also instructed verbally to “do better” with regard to gender balance and to avoid all-male sessions, except under extraordinary circumstances. The PowerPoint slide used to instruct the committee during the presentation is shown in Fig. 2. The 2015 ASM GM essentially achieved gender equity among speakers, with 48.5% being women. As a result of the increases in the percentage of women speaking in the 2014 and 2015 meetings, approximately 100 more women presented in those two meetings than the number expected on the basis of the 2011 to 2013 meeting averages. Two other outcomes were striking. First, the percentage of all-male speaker sessions was reduced tremendously, and second, the gender difference among conveners disappeared, such that all-male convener teams were equally as likely to invite female speakers as those that included a female convener (Fig. 1). A positive correlation between the presence of at least one woman on the convener team and the percentage of women speakers was observed when the data from the five meetings were combined (Fig. 1).


Achieving Speaker Gender Equity at the American Society for Microbiology General Meeting.

Casadevall A - MBio (2015)

Slide used to charge the Program Committee during the summer 2014 meeting.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4526716&req=5

fig2: Slide used to charge the Program Committee during the summer 2014 meeting.
Mentions: In the summer of 2013, the results of the GM gender participation analysis for the years 2011 to 2013, subsequently published in mBio (7), were available and were presented to the Program Committee planning the 2014 meeting in Washington, DC. Two points were made: (i) that female speakers were underrepresented relative to the participation of females in the meeting, with too many all-male sessions, and (ii) that the presence of at least one female convener was associated with a 72% increase in female participation in those sessions and a 70% reduction in the likelihood of an all-male session. The simple intervention of presenting the data from prior meetings was associated with an increase in convener teams comprising at least one woman and an increase in female speaker participation at the 2014 meeting to 43% from an average of 29.6% for the prior 3 years but had no effect on the number of all-male sessions (Fig. 1). In the summer of 2014, the gender statistics from the 2014 meeting (which had occurred 1 month earlier) were again presented to the Program Committee planning the 2015 meeting, together with an analysis of trends in recent years. However, on that occasion, the committee was also instructed verbally to “do better” with regard to gender balance and to avoid all-male sessions, except under extraordinary circumstances. The PowerPoint slide used to instruct the committee during the presentation is shown in Fig. 2. The 2015 ASM GM essentially achieved gender equity among speakers, with 48.5% being women. As a result of the increases in the percentage of women speaking in the 2014 and 2015 meetings, approximately 100 more women presented in those two meetings than the number expected on the basis of the 2011 to 2013 meeting averages. Two other outcomes were striking. First, the percentage of all-male speaker sessions was reduced tremendously, and second, the gender difference among conveners disappeared, such that all-male convener teams were equally as likely to invite female speakers as those that included a female convener (Fig. 1). A positive correlation between the presence of at least one woman on the convener team and the percentage of women speakers was observed when the data from the five meetings were combined (Fig. 1).

Bottom Line: The mechanisms associated with increased female participation were (i) making the Program Committee aware of gender statistics, (ii) increasing female representation among session convener teams, and (iii) direct instruction to try to avoid all-male sessions.Historically women have been underrepresented as speakers in many scientific meetings.This article describes concrete steps that were associated with achieving gender equity at a major meeting.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland, USA Acasade1@jhu.edu.

No MeSH data available.