Women in Medicine® Launches First-of-its-Kind Speakers Bureau to Elevate Female Thought Leaders in Healthcare

CHICAGO (January 31, 2022) – Women in Medicine® (WIM), a nonprofit dedicated to eliminating the gender gap in the US healthcare system, announced today the launch of its new Speakers Bureau, a comprehensive resource for conference organizers, media, research labs, and other organizations to find women experts across healthcare.

WIM’s Speakers Bureau (https://www.wimspeakers.org/) is the first of its kind in the US, and takes aim at ever-growing gender inequities in America’s medical system. One study found, for instance, that women only accounted for 30 percent of all academic conference speakers – and that nearly 40 percent of panels were “manels” comprised entirely of men.

This disparity reflects – and perpetuates – a number of other gender gaps in medicine, in which women are paid less, promoted less, publish less, and receive less research funding than their male counterparts. This, despite the fact that women make up 70% of the healthcare workforce, outnumber men in medical schools, and have proven, in numerous arenas, to deliver better health outcomes. Unfortunately, COVID-19 has only exacerbated these disparities.

“The pandemic threatens to set back women in medicine for years to come, as more and more are forced to leave the workforce and disproportionately shoulder the burdens of COVID-19,” said Dr. Shikha Jain, founder of WIM and assistant professor of medicine in the Division of Hematology and Oncology at the University of Illinois Cancer Center. “One way to combat this widening gender gap is to amplify women’s voices in the public sphere and showcase their thought leadership. With our Speakers Bureau, anyone looking for a conference speaker, panel participant, research collaborator, or expert resource now has a one-stop-shop to do just that.”

WIM’s Speakers Bureau is a database of female medical professionals, which interested parties can easily filter by subject matter expertise, availability, languages spoken, and more. Those who wish to register as a speaker can fill out an application and choose a membership plan on the bureau’s website.

“By limiting who we give thought leadership opportunities, we limit who medicine can reach, what we can speak on, how we can best care for patients, and, ultimately, our ability to build a stronger and more equitable medical profession,” said Dr. Eve Bloomgarden, an endocrinologist and Chief Development Officer of WIM. “Rather than simply relying on existing personal networks, the Speakers Bureau makes it easy for individuals and institutions to be more intentional in who they offer these opportunities to – and empower women’s voices.”

Aligned with the launch of WIM’s Speakers Bureau, Dr. Bloomgarden and Dr. Jain will be hosting a conversation on Twitter Spaces about closing the gender gap in medicine in honor of National Women Physicians Day – this Thursday, February 3rd, at 8pm CST.

“We created this Speakers Bureau so that we would never again hear the tired excuse that, ‘There just isn’t a qualified woman for this,’” added Jain. “There are in fact many qualified women, and we hope the Speakers Bureau will go a long way toward ensuring that they’re no longer overlooked.”

About Women in Medicine®

Women in Medicine® (“WIM”) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to closing the inequitable gender gap in healthcare. WIM offers continuing medical education and longitudinal leadership programming, opportunities for thought leadership through innovative initiatives such as a speakers bureau and the WIM Research Lab, formal mentorship and sponsorship, community and network building, and allyship programming for male leaders in healthcare. WIM focuses on educating and empowering women in healthcare and male allies to work towards implementing innovative strategies to eliminate the gender gap utilizing evidence-based research and the amplification of equity initiatives. WIM allows women in medicine to not only learn the various ways they can effectively address the inequitable treatment of women in medicine but also to connect, collaborate and support each other as we work towards fixing the system.