We need to talk about manels: the problem of implicit gender bias in sport and exercise medicine

Sheree Bekker, Osman H Ahmed, Ummukulthoum Bakare, Tracy A Blake, Alison M Brooks, Todd E Davenport, Luciana De Michelis Mendonça, Lauren V Fortington, Michael Himawan, Joanne L Kemp, Karen Litzy, Roland F Loh, James Macdonald, Carly D McKay, Andrea B Mosler, Margo Mountjoy, Ann Pederson, Melanie Stefan, Emma Stokes, Amy J VassalloJackie L Whittaker

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorialpeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

In 2015, a website (www.allmalepanels.tumblr.com/) began documenting instances of all-male panels (colloquially known as a ‘manel’). This, along with the Twitter hashtag #manel, has helped drive recognition of the persistent and pervasive gender bias in the composition of experts assembled to present at conferences and other events.

Recent social media discussions have similarly highlighted the prevalence of all-male panels in Sport and Exercise Medicine (SEM). While, to our knowledge, all-male panel trends in SEM have not yet formally been documented or published, one need look no further than SEM conference committees, keynote speaker lists, panels and other events to see that it exists in practice. Why, in 2018, is SEM and its related disciplines still failing to identify and acknowledge the role that implicit bias plays in the very structure of our own research, practice and education? SEM is, after all, a profession that contains experts, and serves populations, of all genders.

This editorial will introduce the definition, implications and manifestations of implicit gender bias and then explore how the SEM community can begin to address this issue, advance the discussion and develop a more equitable global community.
Original languageEnglish
JournalBritish Journal of Sports Medicine
Publication statusPublished - 17 Mar 2018


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