Opportunity, diversity, and inclusion

At the heart of the AO community

The AO is an international network of surgeon specializing in the treatment of trauma and musculoskeletal disorders. The AO recognizes that a diverse and inclusive community of surgeons, operating room personnel, health care professionals, and researchers is of paramount importance in its mission of promoting excellence in patient care and outcomes. The AO will focus on recruiting staff, faculty, and leaders that represent the cornerstone of this diverse, global, network. The AO is committed to cultivating diverse leaders who are passionate about advancing its mission and enhancing its position as a world leader in education, research, innovation, and clinical practice.

We are committed to opportunity, diversity, and inclusion

Research shows that diverse groups are more creative and effective in problem solving, making an organization more resilient and adaptable; leading to benefits in research and innovation, as well as increased funding opportunities; all the above leading to improved patient health care. Patients want surgeons to look like them, with young graduates being more likely to engage with organizations with people in leadership positions serving as role models that one can associate with. Both aspects are important for future sustainability and success.

The AO recognizes that diversity and inclusion are increasingly important issues and is developing projects, programs and policies to increase the diversity of its leaders, faculty, learners and staff.  In 2018, the AO had a first kick-off meeting after the creation of the Opportunity, Diversity and Inclusion Initiative (ODII).

Based on a lack of representation by women and other minority groups in the leadership within and beyond the AO, research was initiated to gather specific data to identify barriers. This information will be used to help instruct programs to promote diversity, with an initial focus on increasing the number of women in leadership roles.

The AO is committed to promoting underrepresented groups within the organization, and globally in the field of orthopedics. A proactive, evidence-based approach to understanding participation habits and obstacles experienced by members will allow AO to approach diversity and inclusion in a targeted and comprehensive manner.

News and updates

Stay in touch with the latest opportunity, diversity, and inclusion activities from the ODII and across the AO.

AO CMF profiles Dr Emily Nyamu

Tackling challenges with compassion and determination in equal measure.

It's time to shine a light

With female surgeons making up as little as five percent of our membership, the gender gap is a real issue.

Trustees Meeting 2019

AO President Robert McGuire highlighted the importance of diversity as an inherent part of the AO identity.

AO Spine networking event

AO Spine organized its first ever Women in Spine Networking Event at the GSC, Toronto, May 2019

Current and future projects

Find out more about what the AO is doing in opportunity, diversity, and inclusion.

Since its kick-off meeting in Davos in December 2018, the ODII has been central to driving forward AO opportunity, diversity, and inclusion activities. At that first meeting, AO leadership came together with representatives of the AO clinical divisions, units, and institutes, to assess barriers to the entry and/or promotion of women and underrepresented groups as AO members, faculty, and officers.

This direction was further endorsed at the AO Trustees Meeting, when AO President Robert McGuire introduced the importance of diversity as expressing the AO's organizational philosophy and highlighted the AO's commitment to reflecting the diversity of the communities it serves.

Across the AO, activities to recognize our diverse communities are underway. In December 2018, AO CMF held its first ever networking event specifically for female surgeons. AO Spine held a Women in Spine networking event during the Global Spine Congress in 2019.

The ODII was honored to be invited to take part in the AO VET retreat in May 2019, during which it presented and held workshops on diversity and inclusion gathering perspectives of the worldwide AO veterinary community.

These crucial themes were also in the cross-hairs at the AO CMF retreat in Toledo, in September 2019.



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