Raising Women to their Full Potential
In ophthalmology the role played by women is immense with more than 50% of ophthalmologists being female. Meanwhile, female representation at leadership level drops dramatically with only 10% holding leadership positions.
Although more than 50% of ophthalmology peer reviewed papers are written by women, this is not the case in editorials where women are represented in less than 5% of cases. These examples illustrate historical gender unbalance in opportunity that continues today and needs to be corrected.
The Board of Euretina is committed to making the Society an inclusive environment where its contributors and followers have equal opportunity to thrive in the field of retina.
The goal of the Euretina Women in Retina programme is to nurture diversity by giving all genders equal opportunity at all levels in the field of retina. The programme also aims to educate the wider ophthalmic community by supporting initiatives aimed to remove unfair obstacles to the professional development of promising women working in science and care in retina.
The core foundation of the Women in Retina programme is the belief that the best innovations happen when diverse people with different perspectives collaborate. The initiative will help the Society to harness these perspectives, to challenge the way things are done and allow for them to be done better.
Read about what this initiative means to Anat Loewenstein here.
The starting point will be assessing a clear, evidence-based understanding of the challenges currently experienced by female retina specialists and scientists. Only with this information can the Society put in place the appropriate supports and resources most keenly sought by its female followers to enable them to navigate these challenges.
With the help of an independent market research agency, a gender-focussed Euretina survey was circulated across our global database of members and followers, male and female.
We sincerely thank everyone who took part. Results of the survey are available here.
The findings of this survey will inform the future path of the Women in Retina initiative.
Features and resources of the initiative are expected to include:
– An Ophthalmologica white paper to address findings and learnings from the Euretina Women in Retina 2021 survey
– Policy review to ensure equal opportunity to all which with time should lead to appropriate representation of all genders within congress and meeting programmes, as well as Society committees
– Opportunities within the Euretina Online Forum to facilitate gender-related conversation
– A schedule of virtual talks by experts who can assist in professional development and offer advice on navigating gender related challenges