#GAReads | How scientists are fighting against gender bias in conference speaker lineups
In 2 weeks, 1000 neuroscientists will descend on Vancouver, Canada, for the Third International Brain Stimulation Conference. The first two iterations of the biennial conference were plagued by complaints that few of the featured speakers were women, but this year will be a step in the right direction: Female neuroscientists will deliver six out of 20 of the conference’s featured talks.
The gender ratio is definitely an improvement, says Kate Hoy, an associate professor of interventional neuropsychology at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia. Hoy was one of just two female featured speakers—out of 39 total—at the inaugural conference in 2015. “It was really disappointing,” she says. “You sat there and watched the same type of person get up [and speak] over and over again.” Other female attendees also lamented the lack of diversity among the top tier speakers, approaching Hoy because of her visibility as a speaker. “It feels really exclusionary,” they told her. “It feels like there isn’t a place for us here.”