01/09/2014 08:43 am ET Updated Jan 23, 2014

Hiring Women To Recruit More Women: Not As Easy As It Sounds!

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How can male-dominated workplaces get more women on board? A new study on gender imbalances at scientific symposiums proposes a seemingly simple solution: Recruit some women to recruit more women.

In the study, researchers at Yale and the Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University took a closer look at hundreds of symposia that were convened at three recent meetings sponsored by the American Society for Microbiology and found that symposia organized by teams that included at least one woman were much more likely to recruit women to speak on their panels. “The symposia convened by all-male teams contained 25 percent female speakers on average,” the researchers said in a press release. “For the symposia in which the convener teams included at least one woman, women comprised an average of 43 percent of speakers—which meant that including at least one woman among the conveners increased the proportion of female speakers by 72 percent compared with symposia convened by men alone.” Thirty percent of the panels convened by all-male teams produced an all-male lineup of speakers.

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