Including Women on Meeting Teams May Help Careers of Female Scientists

Including women in the groups that organize scientific symposia can help the careers of female scientists, because teams that have at least one woman are much more likely than all-male teams to invite women to speak at those gatherings, suggests a new study published in the journal mBio.

The study examined symposia involving about 2,000 speakers at meetings sponsored by the American Society for Microbiology from 2011 through 2013. The authors found that, on average, the proportion of female speakers at symposia organized by men only was 25 percent. When the organizing teams included at least one woman, the average proportion of female speakers was 43 percent.

The study also found that the presence of a woman on a symposium’s organizing team also decreased the odds that all of the gathering’s speakers would be men.

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