Qualitative study on diversity, equity, and inclusion within radiation oncology in Europe

Azadeh Abravan, Dora Correia, Anne Gasnier, Stella Shakhverdian, Tirza van der Stok, Jenny Bertholet, Ludwig J. Dubois, Barbara Alicja Jereczek-Fossa, Matteo Pepa Eng, Mateusz Spalek, Steven F. Petit, Pierfrancesco Franco, Violet Petit-Steeghs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Organizational culture plays a major role in prioritizing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) objectives by aligning individual values of employees with organizational values. However, effective strategies to create an inclusive organizational culture, in which these values are aligned, remain unclear. The European Society for Radiotherapy and Oncology (ESTRO) launched a qualitative study, as a follow-up of the previous project on DEI that highlighted low levels of inclusion and work engagement among radiation oncology (RO) professionals in Europe. The aim of the current study was to gain an understanding of how DEI could be improved within RO departments by creating a more inclusive organizational culture.
Materials and Methods:
A qualitative research study was conducted by enrolling RO professionals from four selected European countries through an open call at the ESTRO platform. Respondents who filled in an online survey and met the inclusion criteria, such as experiencing low DEI levels at work, were invited for an online semi-structured interview. Interview transcripts were analyzed thematically with an abductive approach via concepts in relation to “DEI”, “work engagement”, “organizational culture” and “professional values”.
Twenty-six eligible respondents from Great Britain, Italy, Poland, and Switzerland were interviewed. The thematic analysis identified cases in which limited engagement at work emerged when the personal values of RO professionals conflicted with dominant organizational values, hampering DEI. Three conflicts were found between the following personal vs. organizational values: 1) self-development vs. efficiency, 2) togetherness vs. competition, and 3) people-oriented vs. task-oriented cultures.
Awareness should be raised on how organizational values can conflict with professionals’ values to improve inclusion and engagement in the workplace. Additionally, efforts should be focused on tackling existing power imbalances that hamper effective deliberation on the organizational vs. personal-value conflicts.

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Manchester Cancer Research Centre


Dive into the research topics of 'Qualitative study on diversity, equity, and inclusion within radiation oncology in Europe'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this