Impact of gender on requests for ASGE leadership assignments

Published:January 16, 2016DOI:

      Background and Aims

      Committee membership in gastroenterology national societies is considered prestigious, opening the door for leadership roles and professional advancement. Some have hypothesized that women ask for leadership opportunities less frequently than men. Our aim was to examine the gender representation of requests for placement on an American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ASGE) committee.


      We analyzed deidentified records of all requests for assignment to ASGE committees from 2011 to 2014, including applicant’s gender, prior service to ASGE, year of application, and whether the applicant was appointed. The primary outcome was the proportion of requests from women compared with the overall ASGE female membership.


      There were 513 requests for ASGE committee appointments; 101 (20%) were from women, exceeding the active ASGE female membership (15%; P = .004). Overall, the total number of committee requests increased over time from 89 to 195 (P = .08); the proportion of requests from women remained stable at 16% to 21% (P = .51). Compared with men, women were significantly less likely to have had previous ASGE service (28% vs 42%; P = .01) and more likely to have a statement of endorsement from a mentor (33% vs 24%; P = .06). The rate of appointment to a committee was 47% (95% confidence interval [CI], 41-52) overall, 42% (95% CI, 37-48) for male applicants, and 65% (95% CI, 54-76) for female applicants. Female gender (odds ratio [OR] 2.6; 1.5-4.5), endorsement from a mentor (OR 3.4; 2.1-5.6), and prior ASGE service (OR 2.3; 1.5-3.5) predicted committee appointment.


      For ASGE committee appointments, it appears that women who make requests are successful in receiving these appointments. Future work should evaluate requests and appointments by gender among other gastroenterology societies and explore whether service translates into leadership opportunities for women.


      ASGE (American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy), CV (curriculum vitae)
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      Linked Article

      • Women in gastroenterology: involvement in our national organizations
        Gastrointestinal EndoscopyVol. 84Issue 2
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          We read with great interest the article entitled “Impact of gender on the requests for ASGE leadership assignments” by Calderwood et al.1 They reviewed membership assignment requests to American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ASGE) committees from 2011 to 2014 and found that although 15% of ASGE members are women, 20% of committee membership requests were from women, with a committee appointment rate of 65% for women versus 47% overall. Their conclusion was “women do ask for service opportunities within a national gastroenterology society,” and they urged other gastroenterology societies to reflect on opportunities for women, given that they found women had less prior society service yet more mentor endorsement.
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