This poster has been submitted for the 54th annual meeting of the Association for Behavioral & Cognitive Therapies in Philadelphia, PA.
Evaluations of women’s participation in the annual meetings of the Association for Behavioral & Cognitive Therapies (ABCT) have consistently found that women are underrepresented in leadership positions and prestigious conference roles. In contrast, women are overrepresented in early-career roles. In 2019, the majority of ABCT’s members (70%) were female. This is consistent with the demographics of the field of clinical psychology, in which 80% of advanced degrees are awarded to women. The continued underrepresentation of women in advanced positions is consistent with the “leaky pipeline” hypothesis: although women enter the field, they are less likely to advance to higher-level roles. Using data from ABCT’s 2019 meeting in Atlanta, GA, we replicated previous assessments of women’s participation across conference roles and evaluated changes in women’s representation over the last five years of annual meetings (2015-2019).
Using the 2019 program guide, we coded the gender of participants in each conference role (e.g., symposium discussant, chair, and author) using first names, supplemented with publicly available autobiographical information when necessary. We compared the proportion of women in each role to the overall proportion of female meeting participants and compared women’s participation in 2019 to previously collected data from the 2015-2018 annual meetings.
The proportion of female participants in the 2019 annual meeting (70%) was comparable to their representation as members of ABCT. In most conference roles, women’s representation did not differ significantly from their overall conference participation. Women were overrepresented as first authors of posters (79%***). However, women were underrepresented in seven roles: symposium authors (65%**), panelists (64%†), workshop leaders (56%†), symposium discussants (53%***), institute leaders (47%*), master clinician seminars (42%*), and invited speakers (20%*). Of the 22 awards conferred in 2019, 41% were awarded to women.
Over time, women have represented a greater proportion of conference participants (2015: 66%, 2016: 68%, 2017: 69%, 2018: 70%, 2019: 70%). However, the increasing representation of women has not been linear or consistent across all conference roles. There has been a significant increase in the proportion of women participating in clinical roundtables (as moderators and panelists) and panels from 2015 through 2019. However, from 2018 to 2019, the proportion of female invited speakers, panel moderators, and leaders of clinical intervention trainings, institutes, and master clinician seminars decreased by 10% or more.
Although women comprise an increasing proportion of members of ABCT and clinical psychologists, they continue to be underrepresented in prestigious and advanced roles. ABCT must continue its efforts to support women’s advancement beyond the graduate level. In 2019, two panels addressed issues related to retaining and mentoring women. Despite standing-room-only attendance, there were very few men in the audience. As Dr. Simon Rego Tweeted, “We must continue this important conversation next year — in a bigger room & with more men!”
Redler, E.S., Pallotto, I. K., Webb, M., Culhane, B.,* & Sockol, L. E. (2020, November). “There is still a long way to go:” Women’s underrepresentation in higher-prestige roles at the 2019 annual meeting of the Association for Behavioral & Cognitive Therapies. Poster submitted for the annual meeting of the Association for Behavioral & Cognitive Therapies, Philadelphia, PA.