Medical Oncology is a feminized profession in Spain. According to SEOM, 57,6% of the medical oncologists in this country are women. This situation will remain unchanged because women occupied 67% of the medical oncology training positions since 2008. However, women are underrepresented in leadership possitions, which may influence their career development.
We reviewed the participation, role and gender distribution of 2110 professionals at SEOM annual meetings between 2009-2017, the possition of the 237 members of SEOM executive boards (1976-2017) and the 355 members of the current executive boards of 13 of the most important Spanish cooperative groups.
From 2009 to 2017 the 38,4% of the 2110 speakers at SEOM meetings were women. There wasńt a progressing increase over the years. The only year with >40% of female participation was 2017 (42,4%). At educational and clinical sessions, 26% of chairs and 35% of speakers were women. At original presentations sessions, 57% of presenters, 42% of discusors and 30% of chairs were women. At the plenary sessions, 50% of presenters, 17% of discusors and 5% of chairs were women. 31% of members of scientific committees were women; they chaired these panels in 22% of cases. Over the last decade, SEOM awarded 122 research grants, 42% of them to women. The SEOM executive board has been chaired 18 times by a man and 2 by a woman. The first female president was elected in 2011. There were no women at executive boards until 1987. Women occupied 17,3% of the possitions. Currently, 40% of the executive boards members and 2 of the 13 cooperative groups chairs are women.
Spanish women oncologists developed an active cientific activity in their everyday practice and communicated their research data at national meetings. However they were asked to chair or share their expertise in fewer occasions than men. In addition, women were underrepresented at executive boards of the main oncology scientific groups. According to our results, we consider further efforts are required to achieve gender equality. A good example are initiatives like the ESMO Women for Oncology (W4O) network, the Forum of Women in Oncology in Greece or W4O Italy.
Clinical trial identification
Legal entity responsible for the study
Julia Hidalgo Coloma.
Has not received any funding.
All authors have declared no conflicts of interest.