SNO 2020 diversity survey: Defining demographics, racial biases, career success metrics and a path forward for the field of neuro-oncology

Ugonma N. Chukwueke, Elizabeth Vera, Alvina Acquaye, Shawn L. Hervey-Jumper, Yazmin Odia, Laura J. Klesse, Erin Dunbar, Akanksha Sharma, Ekokobe Fonkem, Alissa A. Thomas, Tamra E. Werbowetski-Ogilvie, Sandra Camelo-Piragua, Na Tosha N. Gatson, MacArena I. De La Fuente, Terri S. Armstrong, Alyx B. Porter, Sadhana Jackson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Neuro-oncology has grown tremendously since 2010, marked by increasing society membership, specialized clinical expertise, and new journals. Yet, modest improvement in racial/ethnic diversity amongst clinical trial participants, researchers, and clinicians led us to conduct a survey to identify opportunities to enhance diversity and inclusiveness amongst neuro-oncology professionals. Methods: In summer 2020, the Women and Diversity Committee of the Society for Neuro-Oncology (SNO) distributed an anonymous online survey to members and affiliates including the European Association of Neuro-Oncology (EANO), Asian Society for Neuro-Oncology (ASNO), Society for Neuro-Oncology Latin America (SNOLA) and Society for Neuro-Oncology Sub-Saharan Africa (SNOSSA). The survey captured personal and professional characteristics, biases, effective mentorship qualities, career service metrics, and suggested field/society changes. Results were analyzed by geography, profession, age, racial/ethnic, and sexual identity. Standard descriptive statistics characterized the study population. Results: The 386 respondents were predominantly female (58%) with a median age range of 40-49 years (31%), White (65%), and SNO members (97%). Most worked in North America (77%) in a research profession (67%). A majority of White respondents reported never experiencing biases (64%), while the majority of non-White respondents reported unconscious biases/microaggressions, followed by a lack of/limited mentorship. Qualitative assessments showcased that personal/professional success metrics were linked to needed improvements in diversity and inclusion efforts within the neuro-oncology field. Conclusions: The prevalence of racial/ethnic biases and poor mentorship rates amongst underrepresented groups in neuro-oncology is high and potentially linked to the limited diverse representation amongst members and affiliates. These findings warrant a swift implementation of equity and inclusion practices within the neuro-oncology field.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1845-1858
Number of pages14
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2021


  • biases
  • diversity
  • equity
  • mentorship
  • neuro-oncology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cancer Research


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