Access—diversity, inclusion and mentorship

At the heart of the AO community

Introducing: Access

On June 24, 2020, the AO Foundation Board approved Access, establishing the diversity, inclusion, and mentorship initiative firmly within the AO. This further demonstrates the AO’s commitment to addressing existing inequalities to entry and advancement, and to identifying and overcoming barriers.
Access aims to drive these changes through implementation of pro-diversity initiatives that have already been evaluated and shown to be effective in other workplaces; interventions focused on changing people's perceptions of what is normative; and through the creation of a more inclusive and supportive working environment. Access comprises taskforces recruited through open calls—making it diverse, inclusive and transparent—with representatives from all AO regions and across all the AO's clinical divisions, clinical unit, and institutes, involving surgeons and staff alike. The success of Access is tied to engagement and self-nomination, which forms the most important part of this.

We welcome your involvement. The first round for self-nomination through the open call for collaborations has been closed on September 9, 2020.


Second round to get involved is open now

The second round for self-nomination continues to be open for future collaboration. To get started please complete this short survey.

Diversity statement

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.

Educational webinars on diversity and inclusion

In a series of interactive webinars targeting particular aspects of diversity and inclusion, mentorship and sponsorship, selected AO experts and invited speakers share their experience and answer your questions.

If you were not able to join live, please sign in with your AO login or register now to watch it on AO videos

[Title]Workplace–Evidence-based Approaches and Outcomes

Diversity Initiatives in the Workplace–Evidence-based Approaches and Outcomes

[Title]Workplace and Organizational Diversity

Growth, Sustainability, and Innovation Through Enhancing Workplace and Organizational Diversity

Access Steering Committee and taskforces

Meet the diversity, inclusion, and mentorship working group.


Previous activities

Introducing diversity at the AO Davos Courses 2019

The AO Opportunity, Diversity and Inclusion Initiative (ODII), now called Access, featured on AO TV Live from Davos in 2019. In this video, AO ODII working group members share their views on mitigating unconscious bias, coaching and mentoring, as one of many channels to support and expand diversity across the AO.

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 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 allows AO to approach diversity and inclusion in a targeted and comprehensive manner.

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. The current makeup of the AO organization does not reflect the gender and ethnic diversity of the wider medical and veterinary orthopedic community, particularly regarding those in early career stages and in residency training programs. In 2018, the AO had a first kick-off meeting after the creation of the Opportunity, Diversity and Inclusion Initiative (ODII). Based on an identified 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. A large-scale evidence-based survey revealed barriers to faculty entry and advancement for women and other underrepresented groups. Conversations regarding gender disparity and lack of inclusion of other underrepresented groups have taken place in the AO. Identification of this problem is helpful; however, data and data analysis were needed in order to implement effective interventions in the organization.

Find out more in this edition of Faculty Focus. This data is used to instruct programs to promote diversity, inclusion and mentorship programs, trough the new entity Access.

Supporting our global community

As a global community of surgeons, with members from six continents and across many fields of orthopedic practice, we are committed to supporting and including all of our colleagues and peers, regardless of race, gender, culture, and religion in our AO activities so as to further our mission for superb patient care and outcomes.

We realize there are multiple global inequities that affects communities, educational institutions, and healthcare systems. In keeping with our mission at the AO, we realize we cannot provide excellence in patient care and outcomes without providing an opportunity for dialogue, education and creation of an entity to address these inequities as well as identify and mentor our future leaders.

The AO is proud to have unveiled its own Opportunity, Diversity, and Inclusion Initiative this past year and will now include Mentorship as a new entity. The new entity called Access will be dedicated to cultivating a diverse member and leadership organization, to ongoing self-reflection, and to promote those values throughout the AO community.

We look forward to providing opportunities with a series of webinars and volunteer working groups, where people dedicated to pursuing these same goals can come together and strengthen our organization. We encourage peaceful and productive progress that will help uphold the values of understanding, tolerance, and acceptance which in the end, will improve the care we provide for our patients.

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