By Barbara Casolla, MD, PhD, Univ. Lille, Inserm U1172, Degenerative and Vascular Cognitive Disorders, CHU Lille, Department of Neurology, France

Twitter: @BarbaraCasolla

ESO-WSO Congress, Join Virtual Conference, 9 November 2020

By virtually connecting the five continents, this important symposium fostered a 360° discussion from a global perspective on Woman Leadership in Medicine, particularly in the Stroke field.

This was a unique opportunity to scientifically approach different perspectives of this evolving topic: how do we define a leader? What are the differences between equity and equality? Why do we talk about “feminization” of medicine? What is a role model, a mentor and a sponsor? From these big questions, the authors discussed the apparently small pluses and minus, such as the impact of micro-behaviors, including micro-inequity and accumulation of disadvantage, on gender disparities. Speakers gave a detailed analysis of the facts. “Where do we stand”?

Facts: just 5% of global health leaders are women from low-or middle-income countries. Women still face a unique challenge related to cultural and social gender-specific stereotypes for their education and beyond. Despite large inter-country and intra-country variations, gender disparities still exist everywhere in the world, for leadership, promotion, funding, publishing, speaking, recognition and compensation. Greater awareness on “unconscious biases” and on reasons why these disparities still exist will help changing the narrative, but for the moment, increasing the number of women leaders and their participation in the decision-making still remains a global major challenge.

It is important to promote action plans for developing transversal gender equity policies and enabling women’s leadership at all echelons, including scientific societies, journals, institutions, funding.

Collaborations and networking will strengthen these actions: ESO WISE Committee is updating the member list and looking forward your suggestions on ESO WISE 2021 Workshop.  This is a marathon so never stop running!

The symposium has been recorded and it will be available on ESO-WSO 20202 platform.

Our special thanks go to the 9 international speakers from all around the word: Dr Paula Munoz Venturelli, Chile, Dr Amy Guzick, United States, Dr Diana Aguiar de Sousa, Portugal, Dr Cheryl Carcel, Australia, Dr. Gloria Ekeng, Nigeria, Prof Urs Fischer, Switzerland, Prof Joanna Wardlaw, United Kingdom, Dr Gisele Silva, Brazil, Dr Shelagh Coutts, Canada. Thanks also to Prof Christine Kremer, Sweden, who moderated the session, Dr Yvonne Zuurbier, Netherlands and Dr Melanie Heldner, Switzerland, who gave an introduction to the symposium and to the Chair and Co-Chair of the ESO WISE Committee, Dr Marialuisa Zedde, Italy and Prof Silke Walter, Germany, who summarized the meeting and introduced the next actions.