Code of Conduct for APR 2023: We do not expect discrimination or harassment to be exhibited, but we will employ concrete strategies to mitigate potential discrimination or harassment at any point during the meeting. The Code will include expectations regarding behavior and interpersonal interactions and procedures for reporting inappropriate behavior to leadership, and it will be posted at the meeting and on the APR webpage. The APR 2023 Course will not condone any forms of harassment, violent behavior or discrimination against (including but not limited to) gender, race, ethnicity, disability or career stage. This applies to all meeting participants, industry partners and administrative staff. Reports of unwanted behavior will be made to the course directors and should resolution require additional steps, there will be resources available to report harassment including personnel trained in advocacy and counseling, referral to legal or health care resources, and procedures to ensure the safety of all including removing the perpetrator from the conference. At the conclusion of the meeting, a climate survey will be sent in addition to an evaluation form specifically related to sexual harassment and professional misconduct.
APR 2023 prioritizes the diversity of scientific participants with regard to 1) career stage; 2) gender; and 3) underrepresentation in Science and Medicine, including with regard to race, ethnicity, and disability.
Organizing Committee and General Organization: The organizing committee is three women, two of whom are full professors and one an associate professor, and all with strong track records of mentorship. Two are involved in mainly clinical research and one in laboratory-based and translational research. All are pediatric retina specialists and surgeons, involved in leadership positions including WIO, WinR. The education and science committees include junior faculty at the assistant professor stage in pediatric retina. Each session will have senior and junior moderators and women and individuals from underrepresented groups will be sought for each panel. The number of women in retina surgery remains at about 20-30% nationally, but the percentage is increasing among new generations. The co-directors will strive to meet 50% total participation based on gender.
Diversifying participant career stage: Promoting student and junior faculty participation in APR2023 will provide training in aspects of pediatric retina that are universally accepted to ensure future leaders provide outstanding care to infants and children with retinal diseases. The students’ rapid-fire research and poster presentations provide feedback from the audience as well as in-depth discussion with potential collaborations and networking during the poster session. The faculty benefit from cutting edge innovative approaches to treatment, management and pathophysiology of pediatric retinal diseases. This cross-fertilization is important to advance the field of pediatric retina. The meeting brings together faculty nationally and internationally as collaborators and mentors. The opportunity to learn about international pediatric retina and unique difficulties in various regions of the world enriches for innovative thinking to address these problems. We will seek speakers and participants from underrepresented groups and will request demographic information so selection can take into account many aspects of diversity. We will advertise course, particularly encouraging diversity, widely through foundations, societies, associations, fellowship and residency programs, and e-blasts.
Diversifying participant gender: We strive for 50% of awardees, moderators and panel discussants to be women. In previous in-person meetings, women speakers, moderators and keynotes approached 50%. We include diversity by gender and age in our panels and speaker choices. Although we consider science and content in choosing student abstracts, we will target women groups such as, Women in Retina, Women Professors in Ophthalmology and WIO. All participants will be queried regarding gender, and we will also solicit responses of “nonbinary or non-conforming”. All advertisements, communications and social media postings will include relevant hashtags including (e.g., #WomeninScience, #WomeninSTEM, #WIR, #WIO). We will ensure the availability of special accommodations, such as family and childcare services and lactation rooms. Diversifying participant representation with regard to race, ethnicity, and disability: We will actively seek inclusion from participants who consider themselves underrepresented, which may include racial or ethnic minority status, disadvantaged or having a disability. In order to facilitate the goal, we will ask participants and applicants whether he/she/they consider(s) himself/herself/themselves underrepresented and why. Current residents and fellows have a greater diversity pool than faculty, because turnover occurs every 4 years or less during residency and fellowship training. Therefore, we will advertise “save the date” information and calls for abstracts to residencies and fellowships to be inclusive and to target underrepresented groups. Advertisements, communications and social media postings will include relevant hashtags such as #DiversityinSTEM #ScienceInclusion #BlackinScience #BlackinSTEM #LatinxinScience #LatinxinSTEM #PrideinSTEM.