Despite the high prevalence of women in graduate degree programs and equal or more women earning PhDs, MDs, and MD/PhDs, and despite efforts at individual and institutional levels to promote women in STEM fields, there remains a disparity in pay and academic advancement of women. Likewise, there is a paucity of women in top scientific and academic leadership positions. The causes of this gender disparity are complex and multi-factorial and to date no “magic bullet” approach has been successful in changing the landscape for women in academic and scientific fields. In this report we detail our experiences with a novel mechanism for promoting discussion and raising awareness of the challenges of gender disparity in the sciences. The Gordon Research Conferences (GRC) launched the Power Hour at its meetings in 2016: a dedicated, scheduled session held during the scientific meeting to facilitate discussion of challenges specific to women in science. Here we share our experience with hosting the second Power Hour at the 2019 GRC Immunology of Fungal Infections (IFI) meeting held in Galveston, TX. We will discuss the overall structure, key discussion points, and feedback from participants with the aim of supporting future efforts to empower women and underrepresented minority groups in science.
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