Gender Representation of Speaking Opportunities at the American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting

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Heather L. Ford, Cameron Brick, Karine Blaufuss, Petra S. Dekens


Implicit and explicit biases impede the participation of women in geoscience. Documented biases include the quality of postdoctoral recommendation letters and opportunities to review research articles. Across career stages, attending conferences and presenting research are ways to spread scientific results, find job opportunities and funding, and gain awards and recognition. However, biases in geoscience conference presentations are currently unknown. Here we present an analysis of the American Geophysical Union (AGU) Fall Meeting abstract dataset from 2014 to 2016 of invited authors and oral and poster presentations. Our results indicate that overall, women were invited and assigned oral presentations less often than men for the AGU Fall Meetings. However, when we control for career stage, we see similar rates between women and men and women sometimes outperform men. Women also elect for poster only presentations more than men. Male primary conveners (from students to more senior career stages) allocate invited abstracts and oral presentations to women less often and below the proportion of women authors. Our results show the need to provide equal opportunity to women in speaking roles at scientific conferences as part of the overall effort to advance and retain women in STEM fields.



Earth Sciences, Physical Sciences and Mathematics


Diversity, gender, scientific conference, scientific meeting, STEM


Published: 2017-12-11 00:37


Academic Free License (AFL) 3.0