Gender issues from the perspective of health-care professionals in Neuro-oncology: An EANO and EORTC Brain Tumor Group survey

Emilie Le Rhun*, Michael Weller, Simone P. Niclou, Susan Short, Karin Piil, Florien Boele, Roberta Rudà, Marilena Theodorou, Dieta Brandsma, Martin Van Den Bent, Linda Dirven

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Women represent an increasing proportion of the overall workforce in medicine but are underrepresented in leadership roles. Methods: To explore gender inequalities and challenges in career opportunities, a web-based survey was conducted among the membership of the European Association of Neuro-Oncology and the Brain Tumor Group of the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer. Results: A total of 228 colleagues responded to the survey: 129 women (median age 45 years; range, 25-66 years) and 99 men (median age 48 years; range, 24-81 years); 153 participants (67%) were married and 157 participants (69%) had at least 1 child. Women less often declared being married (60% vs 77%, P =. 007) or having a child (63% vs 77%, P =. 024). Men more frequently had a full-time position (88% vs 75%, P =. 036). Women and men both perceived an underrepresentation of women in leadership positions. Half of participants agreed that the most important challenges for women are leading a team and obtaining a faculty position. Fewer women than men would accept such a position (42% vs 56%). The main reasons were limited time for career and an inappropriate work and life balance. Women specifically cited negative discrimination, limited opportunities, and lack of self-confidence. Discrimination of women at work was perceived by 64% of women vs 47% of men (P =. 003). Conclusion: Women are perceived as experiencing more difficulties in acquiring a leadership position. Personal preferences may account for an underrepresentation of women in leadership positions, but perceived gender inequalities extend beyond disparities of access to leadership.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)249-259
Number of pages11
JournalNeuro-Oncology Practice
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 19 Mar 2020


  • disparities
  • equality
  • leadership
  • oncology
  • women


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