Gender Inequity in Speaking Opportunities at a Major Scientific Conference

17 May 2018

Implicit and explicit biases impede the participation of women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematic (STEM) fields. Across career stages, attending conferences and presenting research are ways to spread scientific results, find job opportunities, and gain awards. We present an analysis by gender of the American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting speaking opportunities from 2014-2016. Here we show women were invited and assigned oral presentations less often than men. However, when we control for career stage, we see similar rates between women and men and women sometimes outperform men. Women elect for poster presentations more than men. Male primary conveners (from students to more senior) allocate invited abstracts and oral presentations to women less often and below the proportion of women authors. These results highlight the need to provide equal opportunity to women in speaking roles at scientific conferences as part of the overall effort to advance women in STEM.