Background: Previous studies identified gender disparities in surgical conference presenters and moderators. We sought to assess disparities in the representation of women in terms of speakers and moderators, but with particular emphasis on panels and topics of discussion at vascular surgery conferences.
Methods: Data regarding presenters and moderators from the Southern Association of Vascular Surgery, Western Vascular Society, Vascular and Endovascular Surgical Society, Society for Clinical Vascular Surgery, and Society for Vascular Surgery conferences was obtained from online meeting archives and via email correspondence. Scientific session speakers, moderators, and panelists were identified by sex. Specific vascular topics for each discussion were also identified. Keynote speakers or special guests were excluded.
Results: Compared to men, women were less often presenters (18% versus 82%, p < .002) and moderators (16% versus 84%, p < .001) of conference sessions. Women were most likely to present on dialysis access and least likely to present on venous disease overall. Women were more likely to present on aortic (24% vs 19%; p < .013) and cerebrovascular disease (33% vs 27%; p < .021) at regional compared to national conferences. Of panels assessed, 68% were all-male. Subgroup analysis suggests that some improvements have been made over time.
Conclusions: Significant disparities persist in the topics presented and in panel composition suggesting potential areas for improvement in equity. Further study should focus on evaluating trends in the training level of the presenter and the topics presented, and assessing parity in structural factors that impact research presentation opportunities.
Keywords: Women; conferences; manel; panel; topics; vascular surgery.