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Female representation at Australasian specialty conferences

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A gender imbalance has been noted at medical conferences internationally, with typically more male than female speakers.13

We conducted a retrospective observational study to assess the proportion of female program speakers and the time allocated to them at the annual scientific meetings (ASMs) of six Australasian specialty colleges from 2012 to 2014 (n = 17). For 2013, female ASM representation was compared with published data on female workforce participation for each specialty.4 The six colleges evaluated were the Australasian College for Emergency Medicine (ACEM), Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists (ANZCA), College of Intensive Care Medicine of Australia and New Zealand (CICM), Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP), Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS) and Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RANZCOG).

We audited official ASM programs and included all sessions with allocated speaking times. We compared distributed data using the Mann–Whitney U test and categorical variables using a χ2 test. A two-sided P < 0.05 was taken to indicate statistical significance.

The proportion of male speakers exceeded the proportion of female speakers at every conference…