Moving the Needle: Directed Intervention by the American Society for Surgery of the Hand Is Effective in Encouraging Diversity in Expert Panel Composition

Lauren Elisabeth Wessel, Ambika E. Paulson, Elizabeth A. Graesser, Amy M. Moore, Christopher J. Dy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Purpose: Recent efforts have been made by the American Society for Surgery of the Hand to encourage female inclusion in expert panels. We hypothesized that female representation on expert panels has increased over the past decade and that a directed intervention by the American Society for Surgery of the Hand would be associated with an increased percentage of submissions with female panelists. Methods: We performed a retrospective analysis of Instructional Course Lecture and Symposium submissions for the 2011 through 2021 American Society for Surgery of the Hand Annual Meetings. Authorship was reviewed, and the gender of the proposed authors was recorded. Additionally, the status of “all-male panel” was attributed to panels with no proposed female authors. Submissions were reviewed and compared with meeting programs to determine the status of accepted or rejected. Longitudinal analysis was performed to determine trends in the gender composition of expert panels. Results: In total, 1,687 submissions were reviewed, including 1,323 Instructional Course Lectures and 364 Symposia. Female authorship constituted 18% of authorship (1,170/6,663), and lead authorship was similarly distributed, with 18% being female (296/1,687). Overall, female representation has increased steadily over the past decade, with females constituting 13% (43/332) and 20% (163/818) of the submitted authors in 2011 and 2020, respectively. Similarly, all-male panels declined from 74% (76/103) to 46% (85/185) of panels over the same timeframe. Most strikingly, a sharp increase in gender representation was observed with the directed intervention noted in the 2021 Call for Abstracts, resulting in an increase in female authorship to 26% (295/1,124) and a decline in all-male panels to 29% (70/241). Conclusions: Gender representation among hand surgery expert panels moved toward increased equity over the past decade, which has been aided by directed interventions. Clinical relevance: Career development and trainee decision making are impacted by gender representation; directed and intentional interventions by professional organizations are effective in encouraging greater equity and diversity within the field.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)65-70
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Hand Surgery Global Online
Volume4
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2022

Keywords

  • Diversity
  • Expert
  • Female
  • Hand surgery

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