Assessing Contemporary Trends In Female Speakership Within Urologic Oncology

Abstract [from journal]

Objective: To evaluate multidisciplinary female representation at urologic oncology conferences, we reviewed speakership trends at contemporary Society of Urologic Oncology (SUO) and American Society of Clinical Oncology Genitourinary Symposium (GU-ASCO) annual meetings.

Methods: Meeting programs from SUO and GU-ASCO from 2015 to 2019 were analyzed. Biographical information was determined by querying institutional websites and social/professional media platforms. Statistical analyses were performed to assess for differences and relationships between male and female authorship based on gender, specialty, professional, and educational factors.

Results: We identified 1,102 speakers at genitourinary oncology conferences. Overall, 222 (20%) were female. There was no significant difference between female speakership rates at SUO and GU-ASCO. The overall proportion of female speakers increased over time, but not when analyzing each individual subspecialty conference separately. Several professional and educational differences were noted between genders. Female speakers were more likely to be medical oncologists (p<0.001), have more recent years of graduation (2001 vs. 1996, p<0.001), hold an additional advanced degree (OR 2.09, p=0.005), and speak in sessions where other women served as chair (OR 1.42, p=0.044). Conversely, female speakers had lower odds of delivering a plenary or keynote address (OR 0.28, p=0.015).

Conclusion: We identified a significantly positive trend towards increased female representation within contemporary genitourinary conferences over time; these trends did not remain significant when analyzing each meeting separately. Several important disparities between men and women speakers were identified. Our data suggests that inclusion of women in planning committees may help reduce gender bias and promote diversity within urologic oncology.