Although non-formal activities have been in place for a long time, the W4O–India Initiative (W4O-I) and its Committee were officially formed in July 2020, to address gender-related challenges facing female oncologists in India, give them a voice, and support them in their work and in overcoming the difficulties they are confronted with.
W4O-I was born in the spirit of taking part into a collaborative effort between international and national initiatives for women oncologists, to build a future where the entire oncology workforce has equal opportunities irrespective of their gender, race or age.
W4O-I goals are:
- To encourage balanced gender representation across all the activities of the Indian Society of Medical and Pediatric Oncology (ISMPO)
- To develop dedicated sessions at ISMPO’s meetings
- To gather data, generate, and disseminate information on the representation of women in the oncology workforce
- To support the career development of female oncologists by providing educational and mentorship programmes
- To nurture the development of a network of female oncologists
- To inspire and be a “hub” for the creation of regional groups of women oncologists within the country, and to collaborate with similar groups in other countries
Governing body and members
W4O-I was established under the umbrella of the Indian Society of Medical and Paediatric Oncology (ISMPO), the national oncology society in India.
Chair: Jyoti Bajpai
Deputy Chair: Jyoti Wadhwa
7 Core members (including two male members): Reena Nair, BK Smruti, Anitha Ramesh, Bhavna Parikh, Reetu Jain, GS Bhattacharya, Govind Babu
6 National advisers: SH Advani, Purna Kurkure, SD Banavali, Hemant Malhotra, Sudeep Gupta, Bhawna Sirohi,
8 International advisers: Solange Peters (Switzerland), Pilar Garrido (Spain), Janice Tsang ( Hong Kong), John Haanen (The Netherlands), Josep Tabernero (Spain), Su Pin Choo (Singapore), Sandhya C Acharya (Nepal), Shahna Parveen (Bangladesh)
- a country-wide survey was run to identify the lead thrust areas for gender gap’s improvement and practical solutions were identified with the help of leaders in the field
- Gender climate in Indian oncology: national survey report
- Women oncologists’ perspective
- Gender Equity in Oncology: Past, Present, and Future!
- dedicated W4O-I sessions during the national society meetings (ISMPO) to create awareness and discuss gender related topics
- regular educational meetings on common cancers like breast, gynecological cancers etc. organised by W4O-I members
Mentorship related activities:
- senior members of W4O-I involved in mentoring women oncologists in various phases of their carrier
- Structured W4O-I mentorship programme currently under development