More women's representation and less “manels" panels

By Patricia C Heyn posted 08-20-2019 03:30 AM


Dear All,

I thought you would be interested in this. The Lancet editor is taking a strong position promoting equity on journal editorial boards. Two things stand out about The Lancet's announcements:

  1. Organizational level commitment to not serving on all male panels (ie manels)
  2. Organizational level commitment to editorial board gender equity

NIH director Francis Collins recently announced that he will no longer serve on “manels”. Manels have been well documented on social media for years, and during conference season this is going to be a very big deal. I would encourage alerting organizational leaders to proactively look at how many manels they are hosting this fall  and also individual faculty members to consider their participation in manels. There is still time to invite women to participate.  

 See below the Lancet's comments from a week ago (8/9/19).



Dear all, 

6 months ago today, The Lancet published #LancetWomen a theme issue on women in science, medicine, and global health. The theme issue raised concerns about systemic gender bias impeding the advancement of, and equity for, women within these fields. We called for urgent action to create institutional change. Specifically, we acknowledged that women, people of colour, and colleagues from the Global South are vastly under-represented in author, reviewer, and editorial positions across all scientific and medical journals.

The Lancet,  started a new Lancet Group Diversity Pledge and No All-Male Policy, available here

 PS: Here's a link to my comment in The Lancet about equity on journal editorial boards:

In a Comment signed on behalf of The Lancet Group, we update on our progress on improving the representation of women scientists and clinicians on our journals’ editorial advisory boards. To introduce the pledge and policy, the Lancet Group has updated all instructions and communications to authors and reviewers to include the Group’s preference for diversity.

The commitments go beyond our Editorial work, The Lancet’s Marketing and Communications teams will implement the no all-male panel policy in media briefings and co-sponsored events and conferences. The Lancet’s communications activities will seek to reflect a broader range of voices, and in particular, all press releases will aim to include quotes from women, and the Media Relations team will develop training to support a larger pool of diverse spokespeople.

This morning we have promoted these commitments on our Twitter account:


We encourage other publishers, journals, and members of the scientific community to contribute to these pledges.

We look forward to your feedback.


Kind regards,


Stephanie Clague

Communications Officer | THE LANCET