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Current Landscape and Trends of Gender Diversity in AAPM Task Group Participation and Leadership

C.R. Miller1,2*, K.C. Paradis (Younge)3, E.L. Covington4, C.K. Glide-Hurst1,5, (1) Department of Radiation Oncology, Henry Ford Cancer Institute, Detroit, MI, (2) College of Engineering, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI (3) Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, (4) Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Alabama-Birmingham, Birmingham, AL, (5) Department of Radiation Oncology, Wayne State University School of Medicine, Detroit, MI


(Sunday, 7/12/2020)   [Eastern Time (GMT-4)]

Room: AAPM ePoster Library

Purpose: Diversity and inclusion are pillars of the current AAPM Strategic Plan. However, recent analysis highlighted gender disparities pertaining to leadership positions and recognition within the organization. This work sought to quantify gender diversity trends and the overall landscape of female participation and leadership in AAPM Task Groups (TGs).

Methods: Data were provided by AAPM to identify TG membership and author order. Gender was assigned to any unidentified or not self-reported member via review of names and photographs available both online and in the AAPM member directory. Data were normalized by growth in AAPM membership. Overall gender distribution, frequency by decade, first-author positions as a surrogate for TG chairperson, and associations between leadership involvement in AAPM (i.e. president, secretary, council chair, etc.) and TG participation were evaluated.

Results: A total of 2,151 participants were identified as TG authors from 1977-2020. Of these, 85.5% were male and 13.0% were female. Of the 196 TGs, 171 had male first-authors, suggesting they served as chair. Leadership positions in AAPM were dominated by males with them holding 144 of the 167 positions. Of the 23 females who did hold leadership positions, 19 of them also participated in TGs. Of those 19, 7 were also first-author on the report. On average, the percentage of female involvement in TGs increased over time, however male participation was ~3 times greater than female participation. Between 2001-2010 and 2011-2020, female participation in TGs grew only from 11% to 19%.

Conclusion: Although female participation in TGs has risen over the years, a need for outreach and continued growth in this area still exists. Effort to diversify member involvement, particularly in leadership in AAPM TGs, should be of high priority, as well as understanding why these gender disparities exist. Further work identifying key barriers and mechanisms to overcome them is warranted.

Funding Support, Disclosures, and Conflict of Interest: The submitting institution holds research agreements with Philips Healthcare, ViewRay, Inc., and Modus Medical. Research partially supported by the National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number R01CA204189. The PI is on the Philips Healthcare Advisory Board. An author receives funding from Varian Medical Systems (KP).


Gender, Diversity, Task Groups


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