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

Jones, Theresa 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, vol. 2, pp. 1-15, doi: 10.7717/peerj.627.

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Title Gender differences in conference presentations: a consequence of self-selection?
Author(s) Jones, Theresa M.
Fanson, Kerry V.ORCID iD for Fanson, Kerry V.
Lanfear, Rob
Symonds, Matthew R. E.ORCID iD for Symonds, Matthew R. E.
Higgie, Megan
Journal name PeerJ
Volume number 2
Start page 1
End page 15
Total pages 15
Publisher PeerJ
Place of publication Corte Madera, Calif.
Publication date 2014-10-21
ISSN 2167-8359
Keyword(s) Academic levels
Conference presentations
Evolutionary biology
Gender and science
Gender difference
Leaky pipeline
Matilda effect
Scientific visibility
Talk preference
Women in science
Gender and science, Women in science
Summary 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.
Language dut
DOI 10.7717/peerj.627
Field of Research 160511 Research, Science and Technology Policy
Socio Economic Objective 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2014, PeerJ
Free to Read? Yes
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