Women in Transplantation ... Past, Present and Future

Women in Transplantation – Past, Present and Future was created to provide support and guidance to women working in the field of transplantation. Since its inception in April 2009, this initiative has been developing projects that help women transplant professionals reach their full potential.

With this goal in mind, Monica Dolton, acting on behalf of TTS and the current program leader Kathryn Wood, compiled a report based on the findings of 375 questionnaires from women working in 43 different countries. The women who took part were at various stages of their profession, ranging from clinical residents/fellows to medical students to assistant professors. The findings of this survey revealed certain factors that hinder career development, issues like family obligations, absence of role models/mentors, male dominated workplaces, lack of assertiveness, to name a few examples.

By far the most pressing issue for women was striking a balance between work and family/home obligations: over a third (36%) of the respondents raised this concern.

The report also exposed the need for information, advice and guidance in order for more junior women to move ahead in the ranks. The survey suggests numerous ways for young clinicians and scientists to improve their careers and personal lives. It stressed the importance of attending professional meetings with an impressive 94% of the respondents promoting these events. The survey respondents indicated that meetings, amongst other things, allow them to expand their network, gain more knowledge, increase confidence and be considered as “major players”.

The survey raises fundamental issues women face in the field of transplantation, with the lack of access to good mentors being the most often cited. WIT is starting a mentoring scheme which would enable women to access mentors in their region or country and possibly across the same discipline.

TTS wishes to thank Pfizer for its continuous contribution and support for this initiative and invites women working in transplantation to go to www.tts.org/women to fill out the questionnaire. A copy of the WIT report in its entirety is also available on the website.