Women in the European Stroke Organisation: One, two, many… – A Top Down and Bottom Up approach

Else Charlotte Sandset, Diana Aguiar de Sousa, Hanne Christensen, Charlotte Cordonnier, Urs Fischer, Mira Katan, Christine Kremer, Aleksandra Pavlovic, Nikola Sprigg, H. Bart van der Worp, Marialuisa Zedde, Valeria Caso

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: An increasing proportion of physicians are women, yet they still face challenges with career advancement. In 2014, the European Stroke Organisation established the goal of increasing the number and participation of women within the society using a Top Down and Bottom Up approach. The ‘Women’s Initiative for Stroke in Europe’ was created the same year by a group of women active within the organisation. We aimed to assess the current status of women in European Stroke Organisation, and to explore the change in sex differences after the introduction of focused approaches to address disparities in 2014. Methods: Using organisational records, we collected data on sex differences in core activities from 2008 up to 2017 including membership, participation in conferences, courses and in the official journal of the society, and positions of seniority and leadership. We estimated sex distribution differences in each of the activities from 2014 to date. Results: In 2017, the proportion of female members was 40%, while 24% of fellows, 22% of the executive board and 19% of the editorial board in the official journal of the society were women. From 2014 to 2017, there was a significant increase in the proportion of female members (p = 0.0002) and in women participating in the annual conference as faculty (p = 0.001). There was no significant change in the sex distribution among the faculty members in junior educational activities (≤27%) or fellows. Interpretation: In 2017, the proportion of women holding positions of seniority and leadership is still significantly lower to the proportion of women attending educational activities. Transparent data on sex distribution will assist implementing tailored programmes to achieve progress against sex-based barriers.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Stroke Journal
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • acute medicine
  • gender bias
  • Stroke

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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