Women for Oncology: Still a long way to go

In Asia only one of 15 analysed oncology professional societies has a female president

  • Date: 17 Dec 2016

In the very first Women for Oncology (W4O) Session at an ESMO Asia congress, held yesterday, Chair of the ESMO W4O Committee, Solange Peters (Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudois, Lausanne, Switzerland), said that women are still missing out in oncology careers.

Findings from the latest ESMO W4O study show that in Asia in 2015, only 26.3% of invited speakers of national oncology congresses were women. And while women are, to a certain extent, present as board members in national oncology professional societies, they are not reaching the top positions.

A unique Asian perspective on how women can use mentors and sponsors to help build their careers was given by Catharina Suharti (Diponegoro University, Dr Kariadi Hospital, Semarang, Indonesia).

Fittingly, the 2016 ESMO W4O Award winner, Sumitra Thongprasert (Chiang Mai University, Thailand), offered advice on overcoming challenges and making the most of opportunities in oncology.

This article appeared in the Saturday 17 December 2016 edition of the  Congress Highlights.