DOI: 10.1093/bjs/znad258.774 ISSN:

546 Gender Distribution of Invited Speakers at Major General Surgical Conferences: A Retrospective Cohort Study

R Kamboj, M Georgi, A Asif, M Fricker, S Patel, A Raja, A Gargan, K Gargan, K Lee, K H C Leung, O Burton, A Thamilmaran, Z Abdi, S Haque, F Tse, C Moore, A Nathan
  • Surgery



Disparity within gender distribution in surgery manifests underrepresentation of women at the top of their field. Despite increasing women entering the profession, decreased academic representation of women stresses the importance of closing the gender gap. This study aimed to quantify gender distribution of speakers and prevalence of all-male panels (“manels”) at major general surgical conferences.


Data were collected and analysed retrospectively across four annual general surgical meetings held between 2016 and 2021. Male and female faculty amongst these were academically stratified by mean number of publications, citations and H-index. A ‘MANEL’ was identified as a session with two or more speakers, all identifying as men.


In total, the 14 conferences across 4 annual meetings identified 454 sessions delivered by 2346 speakers. On average, 21.5% (n = 505) of these were identified as female. From 357 panels, 35.3% (n = 126) of these were identified as manels. No statistically significant difference in percentage of manels was observed between online versus in person conferences (online 42.9% (n = 24), in person 35.8% (n = 96); p = 0.321). Male invited lecturers indicated a significantly higher H-index than female invited lecturers (male = 31.5 vs female = 19.4; p<0.05). No statistically significant difference in the percentage of manels was observed over time (28.3% in 2016, 33.3% in 2021; p = 0.448).


This provides an evidence basis supporting the underrepresentation of females within major general surgical meetings is a recurring issue despite improvement. This study aims to explicitly highlight the necessity for greater gender distribution and diversity across the general surgical discipline.

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