Women are underrepresented at scientific conferences, decreasing the visibility of female role models, which are vital for aspiring young female scientists. This investigation aimed to evaluate female representation at the German Society of Urology’s (GSoU) annual meeting.
The programs of the GSoU meeting of 2011, 2018, 2019 and the virtual conference in 2020 were retrospectively quantified by gender and categorized by chair or speaker, type, and topic of the session. Descriptive analysis was applied. Univariate and multivariate analyses were performed to identify gender inequity and variables influencing gender distribution. A p value of < 0.05 was considered significant.
A total of 2.504 chairs and speakers were invited to the GSoU meeting in 2018 and 2019. Female speakers or chairs were represented in 17.8%, indicating a gender gap of 64.7%. There were significant differences between session type, topic, and gender distribution for chairs and speakers. The topic surgical techniques were independent variables for both, underrepresented female chairs and speakers, respectively (p < 0.001). Vocational policy and plenary session were not represented by any female chair in 2011, 2018, and 2019. In comparison, the gender gap in 2011 was 74.2%, indicating a gap reduction of 1.2% per year. In a selected virtual program in 2020, the gender gap increased to 70.4%.
There is still a significant discrepancy between gender representation at the GSoU annual meetings, and gender equity is currently not expected before 50 years. Future efforts should address the implementation of established guidelines for achieving gender equity at urological conferences.