Female convenors invite more female speakers (or do they?)

Women are underrepresented in most academic fields, including my own (economics), and especially at higher levels. People are always trying to find simple interventions to improve the situation. According to a new study in the microbiology journal mbio (reported somewhat breathlessly in the Atlantic) one such intervention is to ensure that women are amongst the organisers. This is argued to increase the probability of inviting female speakers (a worthy intermediate goal) which, they argue, will advance women in academia generally (the end goal):

“Put at least one woman on the team that organizes a scientific symposium, and that team will be much more likely to invite female speakers,” said study co-author Arturo Casadevall, M.D., Ph.D., professor and chair of microbiology & immunology at Einstein, director of the College of Medicine’s Center for Immunological Sciences, and attending physician at Montefiore Medical Center, the University Hospital for Einstein.

[from the press release]