1082O_PR - Women 4 Oncology in Greece: exploring common challenges- survey of the Hellenic Society of Medical Oncology among women oncology professionals

Date 28 September 2014
Event ESMO 2014
Session Issues facing oncologists today
Topics Bioethics, Legal, and Economic Issues
Presenter Helena Linardou
Citation Annals of Oncology (2014) 25 (5): 1-41. 10.1093/annonc/mdu438
Authors H. Linardou1, A. Christopoulou2, S. Agelaki2, E. Galani2, Z. Saridaki2, A. Psyrri2, A. Athanasiadis2
  • 1Women 4 Oncology- Hellas, Hellenic Society of Medical Oncology (HeSMO), 18547 - Athens/GR
  • 2Women 4 Oncology- Hellas, Hellenic Society of Medical Oncology (HeSMO), Athens/GR




More women doctors choose oncology as a career but few are in leadership posts. Following the successful ESMO W4O initiative, a Forum of Women in Oncology in Greece was developed within HeSMO under the auspices of ESMO. Is a professional network of women in all oncology specialties to identify common problems, advocate for solutions and support women in oncology but also women with cancer through educative, awareness and fundraising actions.


A questionnaire adapted from the ESMO survey, was distributed to women members of the Hellenic Societies of Medical, Radiation and Surgical Oncology and other women oncology professionals.


HeSMO has 245 members, 19% women. There is increasing number of female young members (GYMO 161 members, 33.5% women) but women Board representation is very limited (1 woman in 7 Board members). Analysis of the initial 60 questionnaires most from women HeSMO members (78%) is presented; responses from all oncology societies will be included in the final presentation. Responders are certified oncologists (85%), 52% in public and university hospitals, 44% in private, 70% mothers usually of 2-3 kids (65%). Most have 1- 10 publications but their name is rarely first or last. Women participate in national conferences (86% in 1-10/yr) but less often in international (55% never) and fewer as invited speakers/ chairs. Women representation at work teams is increasing (38% majority women), but the team leader is usually man (79%). Key professional satisfaction factors are relationship with patients (87%), intellectual stimulation (70%) and fighting a challenging disease (51%), similar to the ESMO survey. More than 1/3 (34%) believe women offer multi-tasking ability and smoother communication (20%). Work-family balance is the main challenge to career progression (63%). More than 1/3 (38%) propose mentorship programs, dedicated posts in boards, women oncologists' network and flexible training.


This survey on women oncologists in Greece, the 1st such national effort in Europe, reveals increasing presence of women in oncology workforce but under-representation in leadership similar to the ESMO report. The W4O initiatives identify common problems but also advocate national/ international actions to bridge career inequalities, promote work-family balance, recognize and develop women oncology leaders.


All authors have declared no conflicts of interest.