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ESMO Women for Oncology (W4O) champions and supports female oncologists; helping them develop their careers and flourish in positions of leadership.

Our Role

Our network unites professionals, providing a forum to share challenges and opportunities, collaborate on new projects and advance careers. We raise awareness and the profile of female oncologists by creating information that inspires local initiatives to respond to their particular members’ needs and challenges.


"Promoting diversity and gender equity in all fields of oncology is a continuous, long-term commitment for the ESMO W4O Committee. By recognising the challenges at all career levels, raising awareness, developing and implementing practices and policies, we strive to educate, support, and inspire both women and men. By reaching out to initiatives across the globe and engaging with underrepresented groups impacted by gender inequities, we pave the way forward for a culture of inclusion and diversity in oncology, as gender equity is key to achieving excellence."

Helena Linardou, ESMO W4O Committee Chair, on her vision for the ESMO W4O initiative during her mandate

Our History

In 2013 Martine Piccart, ESMO President in 2012-2013, realised the under-representation of female oncologists in leadership positions. Her vision and intuition led to the creation of the ESMO W4O initiative and, in 2015, the ESMO W4O Committee. The Committee addresses the challenges female oncologists face when aiming for leadership positions during their careers.

Three Key Objectives:

  1. To monitor and sensitise the oncology community on the gender imbalance in leadership positions in oncology
  2. To educate and train women oncologists to support the creation of women leadership in oncology
  3. To provide resources and establish collaborations to support access to training and career development opportunities for female oncologists

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