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

Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

Neuro Oncol


diversity/inclusion; california; santa monica; jwci


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 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.

Clinical Institute

Neurosciences (Brain & Spine)

Clinical Institute