Introduction: There is growing interest in equitable gender representation at professional medical conferences. Women in surgery have been historically underrepresented in leadership positions and conference speaking roles, reflected in the prevalence of all-male panels. This study examines trends in the representation of women in plenary panels at the American Urological Association (AUA) Annual Meeting.
Methods: A review of all plenary sessions from AUA Annual Meetings between 2017-2019 was performed. Panels were defined as having two or more participants and a moderator. The number and proportion of invited moderators and panelists by gender was recorded, as well as the topic of each plenary session. We performed descriptive analyses and tested temporal trends in gender representation.
Results: A total of 169 plenary panels were held at the AUA meetings in this three-year period. 108 panels (64%) were all-male panels, consisting of exclusively male moderators and panelists. There was no significant change in the proportion of all-male panels during the study period (63% in 2017, 71% in 2018, 58% in 2019, P=0.63). Among the 169 panels, 153 (91%) had a male moderator, and 108 (64%) had only male panelists. There was similarly no significant change in the proportion of panels that had a male moderator (95% to 89%, P=0.25) or only male panelists (63% to 60%, P=0.77). Among six primary plenary topics, the overall proportion of all-male panels was highest for sexual medicine sessions (83%) and lowest for female pelvic medicine and reconstructive surgery sessions (32%). There was significant variation in the proportion of female speakers (P=0.03), female moderators (P=0.04), and female panelists (P=0.03) based on panel topic. Finally, among the 169 plenary panels, only 11 (7%) included >1 female panelist; by topic, none of the panels in sexual medicine (0 of 18) or pediatric urology (0 of 7) had >1 female panelist.
Conclusions: Female representation in plenary panels at recent AUA Annual Meetings did not significantly change between 2017-2019, with nearly two-thirds of panels composed entirely of male speakers. Continued evaluation of these trends may inform efforts to achieve gender equality at national urology meetings. Source of