ERS Women Leaders: Empowering women in respiratory medicine and science

28 August, 2019

The European Respiratory Society (ERS) is committed to being an equal opportunity society and encourages professionals from all specialties and regions of the world, regardless of gender or economic circumstance, to participate in the society and contribute to its activities. ERS recognises that women make up half of medical school graduates, but they continue to be underrepresented within the global physician workforce across all specialties and often face barriers to career advancement and equality in the workplace.

To spotlight these issues, we are excited to announce that this year’s ERS International Congress will feature the first ERS Women Leaders symposium. This new session is dedicated to celebrating the vital role that women play and addressing the challenges faced by women within the field of respiratory medicine and science.

The symposium will feature some of ERS’s most inspiring physicians and scientists, including the first three women presidents of the ERS, Professor Elizabeth Bel, Professor Mina Gaga and Professor Anita Simonds, alongside other influential ERS officers.

Our esteemed speakers will emphasise the key challenges faced by women in medicine and science, and will share some of the key lessons they have learned during their impressive careers as well as highlighting success stories.

Professor Mina Gaga, past-President of the European Respiratory Society and Medical Director and Head of the Respiratory Department of Athens Chest Hospital, said: “I think it is important to discuss the gender issues and to start a network of women, of leaders, mentors and young promising physicians, scientists and medical educators, to help promote more women in accomplishing their roles and desires, and in getting leadership positions. This symposium will initiate a think tank and a network for this, as well as open the discussion and pathway for identifying and helping future women leaders.”

Professor Anita Simonds, who is President-Elect of the European Respiratory Society and a Consultant in Respiratory and Sleep Medicine at Royal Brompton and Harefield NHS Foundation Trust, UK, also said: “This symposium aims to help women specialising in medicine and science to develop strategies and routes to clinical and academic success, to tackle barriers, rethink workforce design and modes of working, and provide guidance in taking on leadership roles. Particular highlights of the session will include sharing experiences, networking, and building mentoring links.”

Do you have a story to share? We want to hear from you!

This session provides an opportunity for members to highlight your own success stories and the challenges you have faced, as it is important to ERS to hear from the community so that we can spotlight key issues help to address them, as well as celebrate your achievements.

If you would like to get involved we encourage you to share your story with us using this survey before 13 September. Submitting a testimonial will enter you in to a draw to win a place on a paid educational session of your choice taking place the ERS congress in Madrid.

Please note that submissions are strictly confidential and personal details will not be shared.

The ERS Women Leaders symposium will take place during the ERS International Congress on Monday 30 September 2019, from 15:00-16:30 in room N106.

Join the ERS Women Leaders LinkedIn Group