Purpose: To analyze the proportion of women presenting at 9 major ophthalmology conferences over 3 years. Design: Retrospective observational study. Methods: Conference brochures from 9 national ophthalmology conferences from 2015 to 2017 were analyzed. Genders of first author presenters of papers and non-papers (moderators, presenters at symposia, panel discussions, workshops/instructional courses) were recorded. Comparisons were made to the gender ratio of board-certified ophthalmologists. Student t test and Cochran-Armitage trend test was used for analysis, with significance at P <. 05. Results: Of 14,214 speakers, 30.5% were female, statistically higher than the expected 25.4% (P <. 001). Paper presenters were 33.1% female (P <. 001) and non-paper presenters were 28.5% female (P <. 001). When stratified to general or subspecialty conference, general conferences had a higher proportion of women compared to the American Board of Ophthalmology (ABO) expected rates (P <. 001) for paper and non-paper presentations. The rates of female presenters increased over the 3 years only at the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (P = .009). Subgroup analysis showed that women presented 33.1% of papers but only 28.5% of non-paper presentations, which is lower than expected (P <. 001). Conclusions: Our results highlight positive trends: the overall proportions of female speakers exceed ABO estimates of female ophthalmologists. However, the gender gap remains at many subspecialty conferences, especially for non-papers, which are more likely to require invitations rather than being self-submitted. As demographics continue to change, further efforts are needed to assure equitable selection of conference presenters.
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