Page 54 - ISAKOS 2020 Newsletter Volume 2
P. 54

ISAKOS Launches Gender Diversity & Inclusion Task Force
Ashley Bassett, MD
Orthopedic Institute of New Jersey New Jersey, UNITED STATES
Mary Mulcahey, MD, FAAOS
Tulane University School of Medicine Louisiana, UNITED STATES
Laurie A. Hiemstra, MD, PhD, FRCSC
Banff Sport Medicine Banff, CANADA
Diversity is essential for the creation of a strong and productive organization that maximizes the strengths and talents of all of its members. Similarly, a diverse leadership group with unique experiences and perspectives is better able to generate novel ideas and goals, contribute different approaches to an issue, and provide a fresh viewpoint to an organization.
The membership statistics for our society were reported in the latest edition of the ISAKOS Newsletter. There are currently 2,959 members of ISAKOS, of whom 106 (3.6%) are female. There are no women on the Executive Committee or the Board of Directors of ISAKOS. There are no female committee chairs. Currently, 11 female members are represented in a total of 14 of the 250 positions on the various ISAKOS committees. Three of the 26 members of the Editorial Board of the Journal of ISAKOS are women. In the history of the society, only two women have won named research awards at the ISAKOS Congress, four have been awarded a Patellofemoral Travelling Fellowship, and one has been awarded a Conference Scholarship.
The International Orthopaedic Diversity Alliance (IODA), led by Jenny Green, MD, an Australian hand and wrist surgeon, recently published an article in Journal of Trauma and Orthopaedics entitled “Diversity: Women in Orthopaedic Surgery—A Perspective From the International Orthopaedic Diversity Alliance.”1 This group collated the number of female surgeons from each of their country’s societies and showed concerning numbers regarding female representation (Fig. 1).
01 Analysis of gender diversity by nation. (Reproduced from the Journal of Orthopaedic Trauma with permission from The British Orthopaedic Association.)
In that article, the authors explored the barriers to and advocacy efforts toward improving gender diversity and the evidence supporting these initiatives. They proposed a framework for improving gender diversity that challenges leadership to incorporate the following principles:
• Communicate and embed values, behaviors, and cultural norms for equity and inclusion.
• Ensure that recruitment and promotion processes are unbiased and involve diverse decision-makers.
• Create working models that support males and females with families.
• A visible and committed leadership.
One area of well-earned pride for ISAKOS is its commitment to addressing geographic and cultural diversity. Achieving gender diversity and inclusion represents the next challenge for societies such as ISAKOS as well as the entire orthopaedic community. Willem van der Merwe, MD, and David Parker, MD, along with the Executive Committee of ISAKOS, aim to address this challenge. To that end, and with full support from ISAKOS, the Gender Diversity and Inclusion Task Force has been established.
The task force consists of eighteen female members from North America, South America, Europe, Asia, and Asia- Pacific. Dr. Laurie Hiemstra is chair of the newly formed task force, with Drs. David Parker and Jason Koh serving as Executive liaisons.
Under the leadership of Dr. Hiemstra, the task force will guide ISAKOS in implementing and maintaining gender diversity and inclusion principles. Dr. Hiemstra is an orthopaedic surgeon specializing in sports medicine and arthroscopic surgery in Banff, Canada.

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