Equal opportunities
Gender differences among invited speakers

We received 75 symposium proposals for ESEB 2017. Given previous gender bias among invited speakers (Schroeder et al., 2013), the ESEB Equal Opportunities Committee analysed these data to test if this bias still occurred. 

The sex ratio of symposia organisers and invited speakers (Fig.1), and of plenary speakers (44%), did not differ from baseline populations (detailed in Schroeder et al 2013). Additionally, the presence/number of female organisers did not affect the sex ratio of invited speakers. 

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Fig.1: The sex ratio of symposia organisers and invited speakers in 74 submitted symposium proposals (1 submitted proposal was excluded from analyses as the gender of 1 invited speaker could not be ascertained) and in the accepted* symposia. *Data from 21/11/16, when 5 symposia had still to confirm some of their invited speakers.

There were, however, fewer female invited speakers in symposia proposals with fewer organisers (irrespective of the gender of the organisers; Fig.2). This was driven by a small sample of 11 proposed symposia with 1 organiser. Previous ESEB congresses stipulated two symposium organisers so it was not possible to assess this affect in a larger dataset from earlier congresses.
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Fig.2: The mean number of female invited speakers in the symposia proposals received for ESEB 2017, according to the number of symposia organisers.

Schroeder, J., Dugdale, H. L., Radersma, R., Hinsch, M., Buehler, D. M., Saul, J., et al. (2013). Fewer invited talks by women in evolutionary biology symposia. Journal of Evolutionary Biology, 26(9), 20632069. http://doi.org/10.1111/jeb.12198