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Jamie Lawrence


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The easiest way to increase female speakers at conferences


A new study suggests that having just one female as a conference organiser will increase the number of female speakers.

The study comes from researchers at Yale University and the Albert Einstein College of Medicine at Yeshiva University and was published in the journal mbio.

Study co-author Arturo Casadevall said: “Put at least one woman on the team that organises a scientific symposium, and that team will be much more likely to invite female speakers.”

The study analysed 460 symposia involving 1845 speakers.

The symposia convened by all-male teams contained 25% female speakers on average, while the symposia with convener teams containing at least one woman had a speaker panel that was 43% female.

Including one woman among the convening body increased the proportion of female speakers by 72% compared to those conferences convened by men alone. 30% of meetings organised by a group of all men had sessions with all-male speakers.

What remains to be seen, however, is how many women invited to conferences turn them down, and what can be done to increase their acceptance rate.

Research out earlier this year from the University of Sheffield suggested that men accepted the invitations to a speaking panel more often than women did.

Read the full article at The Atlantic.

Author Profile Picture
Jamie Lawrence

Insights Director

Read more from Jamie Lawrence

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