Gender differences in conference presentations: a consequence of self-selection?

Jones, Therésa M., Fanson, Kerry V., Lanfear, Rob, Symonds, Matthew R.E, and Higgie, Megan (2014) Gender differences in conference presentations: a consequence of self-selection? PeerJ, 2. e627. pp. 1-15.

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Abstract

Women continue to be under-represented in the sciences, with their representation declining at each progressive academic level. These differences persist despite long-running policies to ameliorate gender inequity. We compared gender differences in exposure and visibility at an evolutionary biology conference for attendees at two different academic levels: student and post-PhD academic. Despite there being almost exactly a 1:1 ratio of women and men attending the conference, we found that when considering only those who presented talks, women spoke for far less time than men of an equivalent academic level: on average student women presented for 23% less time than student men, and academic women presented for 17% less time than academic men. We conducted more detailed analyses to tease apart whether this gender difference was caused by decisions made by the attendees or through bias in evaluation of the abstracts. At both academic levels, women and men were equally likely to request a presentation. However, women were more likely than men to prefer a short talk, regardless of academic level. We discuss potential underlying reasons for this gender bias, and provide recommendations to avoid similar gender biases at future conferences.

Item ID: 35913
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2167-8359
Keywords: gender and science, women in science, Matilda effect, conference presentations, scientific visibility, evolutionary biology, leaky pipeline, gender difference, academic levels, talk preference
Additional Information:

© 2014 Jones et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, reproduction and adaptation in any medium and for any purpose provided that it is properly attributed. For attribution, the original author(s), title, publication source (PeerJ) and either DOI or URL of the article must be cited.

Date Deposited: 30 Oct 2014 03:48
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0603 Evolutionary Biology > 060399 Evolutionary Biology not elsewhere classified @ 20%
16 STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY > 1605 Policy and Administration > 160511 Research, Science and Technology Policy @ 40%
20 LANGUAGE, COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE > 2002 Cultural Studies > 200205 Culture, Gender, Sexuality @ 40%
SEO Codes: 93 EDUCATION AND TRAINING > 9399 Other Education and Training > 939904 Gender Aspects of Education @ 50%
97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences @ 50%
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