Source: The European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO)
Lugano, Switzerland, 27 August 2015 — The European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) has launched the ESMO Women for Oncology Award to recognise an ESMO member who has significantly contributed to supporting the career development of women in oncology. Every year this important accolade will acknowledge someone who has actively worked to sensitise organisations to perceive the female oncology workforce as a valuable resource.
ESMO President Rolf A. Stahel announced the new award at ESMO 2014: “The ESMO Executive Board has decided to promote women for leadership in a new way and I am very proud to announce for next year  the launch of the ESMO Women for Oncology Award, aimed to recognise contributors who support the development of women in oncology.”
All ESMO W4O activities are led by the newly established ESMO Women for Oncology Task Force, chaired by Solange Peters, ESMO Executive Board member: “ESMO Women for Oncology is a dynamic network of women oncology professionals, united by common challenges and common objectives: pursue a successful scientific professional career and be placed to be part of the leaders of tomorrow, by sharing experiences, collaborate on new projects and exchanging ideas.”
The W4O Award will be presented for the first time this year during the ESMO Women for Oncology Session on 27 September 2015 during ECC 2015.1 It will be bestowed on Enriqueta Felip, a medical oncologist who kick-started awareness of the dearth of women oncologists in leadership roles.
Dr Felip collected information about the lack of women leaders to give a lecture at ASCO 2013 on the challenges and keys to success for women in academic oncology, which triggered the at that time ESMO President Martine Piccart to create the ESMO Women for Oncology initiative.
“I feel this is not an award specifically for me but for all women professionals working day to day in oncology,” said Felip. “I have been fortunate in having the opportunity to work on several ESMO initiatives in which I have always felt I was a relevant part of the team. This award is a way to highlight the importance of the role of women in academic oncology.”
Christoph Zielinski, Chair of the ESMO Fellowship and Award Committee, said: “Enriqueta Felip is the first recipient of the ESMO Women for Oncology Award which has been generated to acknowledge the importance of furthering and supporting the careers of women in oncology in Europe.” He continued: “It is ESMO’s belief that Dr Felip has generated an atmosphere of genuine support for female oncologists throughout the area in order to make her an ideal first recipient of this newly generated award.”
The ESMO Women for Oncology Award is a visible way of commending ESMO members who address the W4O Task Force’s aim of addressing inequalities among women oncologists to undertake leadership positions in their career.
Solange Peters said: “The ESMO Women for Oncology Task Force is a team of professionals, distinguished for their full commitment to medicine and science, and working to generate awareness and promote equal opportunities for women oncologists to develop their career.”