ISPOR Establishes New “Women in Health Economics and Outcomes Research” Initiative

Glasgow, Scotland, UK—7 November 2017—ISPOR, the professional society for health economics and outcomes research (HEOR), held an open meeting this afternoon that was designed to gain member feedback on a new initiative, “ISPOR Women in HEOR/Science.” The open meeting was held today at ISPOR’s 20th Annual European Congress in Glasgow, Scotland, UK.

The session was led by ISPOR President Shelby D. Reed, PhD, RPh, Duke University, Durham, NC, USA and Olivia Wu, PhD, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, UK. The open meeting also featured a presentation by guest speaker, Lizzie Massey, senior vice president, marketing products with Synchrony Financial. The proposed vision for the ISPOR Women in HEOR initiative is to:

  • Support the growth, development, and contribution of women in HEOR
  • Serve as a catalyst for women’s leadership in the field
  • Offer a platform for ISPOR women to collaborate, network, share, and mentor each other

Drs. Reed and Wu emphasized that all efforts to improve diversity are not just the “right thing to do.” Research evidence shows that diversity is, in fact, good for business. The speakers reviewed a number of studies that consistently demonstrate that organizations with diverse leadership teams perform significantly better than those that lack diversity. Yet still women account for less than one-third of those employed in scientific research and development. Research also shows that women in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields earn less than their male counterparts (83% of men’s earnings in the United States). Even when women are successful in the STEM fields, recent studies illustrate what is referred to as a “leaky pipeline,” where the number of women decreases significantly as the level of the position increases (with 32% of women in entry-level faculty positions and only 11% in senior-level faculty positions).

The open meeting solicited member input from the audience on a number of key issues that will inform development of this initiative. Individuals interested in contributing to the ISPOR Women in HEOR initiative can complete the online form.

Additional information on the ISPOR 20th Annual European Congress can be found here. Released presentations from the congress can be found here. Interested parties can follow news and developments from the congress on social media using the hashtag #ISPORGlasgow.



ISPOR, the professional society for health economics and outcomes research (HEOR), is an international, multistakeholder, nonprofit dedicated to advancing HEOR excellence to improve decision making for health globally. The Society is the leading source for scientific conferences, peer-reviewed and MEDLINE-indexed publications, good practices guidance, education, collaboration, and tools/resources in the field.
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