Gender Bias in Women’s Healthcare and Research to be highlighted at Science Week Event


Dublin, 9th November 2020: The Health Research Board (HRB) Mother & Baby Clinical Trial Network Ireland have announced a panel event ‘BIAS: Gender Inequality in Healthcare and Research’ to coincide with Science Week (8th – 15th November). The live panel event will examine inequalities in women’s healthcare and the healthcare profession and look at how improvements can be made. The event will take place on Friday 13th November at 11am.

The panel will be hosted by Today FM presenter Alison Curtis, who will be joined by:

  • Dr Laura Kelly (Historian, University of Strathclyde),

  • Jeanne Sutton (Board Member at Endometriosis Association of Ireland),

  • Dr Michael O’Reilly (Endocrinologist and Researcher Beaumont/RCSI),

  • Dr Cliona Loughnane (National Women’s Council of Ireland), and

  • Rachel Kenna (Chief Nursing Officer, Women’s Health Taskforce),

For a discussion on women’s health followed by a Q & A session

There is a long history of gender bias in medicine with women often being seen as hysterical or vulnerable, leading to their exclusion from medical research,” says Dr Elizabeth Tully, Clinical Network Manager of the HRB Mother and Baby Clinical Trial Network. “This can result in delayed diagnoses and even misdiagnoses of disease in women.”

In relation to gender biases in healthcare, studies have shown that women are often at a disadvantage when it comes to diagnosis and treatment. The expert panel will examine how international research can be applied to Irish healthcare and research.

This includes:

  • 1 in 10 women have Endometriosis. According to the Endometriosis Association of Ireland (EAI) it takes an average of 9 years to be diagnosed in Ireland [i]

  • Women wait 7 minutes longer than men for CPR to be activated[ii]

  • On average, women received cancer diagnoses 2.5 years after men. They received diagnoses for metabolic diseases like diabetes 4.5 years later[iii]

  • Women are more likely to experience chronic pain yet are more likely to be prescribed sedatives than pain killers [iv]

To register for the panel event, please visit the dedicated ‘BIAS: Gender Inequality in Healthcare and Research’ website, which also include interviews with Irish experts, resources and quizzes - Science Week is an annual event funded by Science Foundation Ireland.

Participants can also join in on Twitter @HRBMumAndBaby using #BiasWomensHealth.


Dr Elizabeth Tully, Clinical Network Manager of the HRB Mother and Baby Clinical Trial Network is available for interview

For further information, please contact: Emer Martin, RCSI/Rotunda Research Department & HRB Mother and Baby Clinical Trial Network,

About HRB Mother and Baby Clinical Trial Network Ireland:

The Network brings together leading Irish obstetric and neonatal researchers, with an international reputation to address problems in women and children’s health that will have a global impact. The Clinical Trial Network is composed of obstetricians, neonatologists, midwives and related professionals from seven of the largest maternity hospitals in Ireland, which deliver over 55,000 babies every year.

International research – sources:

[i] [ii] [iii] [iv]

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