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Women in Dentistry: Ambition, Hard Work, and Support to Overcome Social Stigma and Gender Barriers

An Indespensable Role

In celebrating the achievements of women in dentistry, we not only recognize their invaluable contributions to oral healthcare, but also admire the progress made. As we look to the future, we strive to continue to support and uplift women in dentistry fostering an environment where all individuals, regardless of gender, can thrive and impart their meaningful contributions to the field.

Breaking Barriers: Challenges Being a Woman Dentist

Being a woman in this profession can be a challenge due to unconscious biases regarding the perceived abilities of a woman dentist. Dr. Khushbu Shah addresses this in her response, noting that “overcoming these biases and demonstrating expertise presents a significant challenge. I believe the most effective approach is to educate patients about the capabilities and skills of female dentists through professionalism, competence, and attentive patient care.” For Dr. Muntean, even patients can have these unconscious biases “there will still be patients who have a surprised look on their face when I walk in to the operatory for the first time…especially when they find out that I’m the one doing the surgery they need.” Having to not only prove yourself as a dentist, but having to prove yourself against your male counterparts is just one of the many obstacle’s women in dentistry face. Moreover, like in any profession, women must face the pressure of upholding traditional roles within the family while balancing a full-time job. Dr. Carla Cohn is “fortunate to have such an incredibly supportive spouse” as she continues to make big strides in her career. Having the pressure to balance it all can be intimidating and Dr. Vondrak notes that she admires and is encouraged by “those that have mastered the balance between being a professional, a mother, and an equal partner in their personal relationships.”
In the last decade alone, the number of female dentists who have entered the workplace has increased from 24.1% in 2010 to 34.5% in 2020. with the number of female students entering dental school being at almost a 50/50 split with their male counterparts according to the American Dental Association. This upward momentum is only expected to continue moving forward as more resources for women are provided to encourage their growth in this industry. One example of this is the American Association of Women Dentists (AAWD) who provide mentorship, networking opportunities, and leadership development programs for women across the country. Another example is Mommy Dentist in Business (MDIB) who primarily focus on providing resources, support, personal stories, and connection with likeminded individuals. Between the many organizations, their support, and our key opinion leaders; we can anticipate the ongoing rise and sustained progress of women in dentistry.
 Tokuyama Dental America thanks our women partners for their leadership and advocacy efforts that promote equality, diversity, and empowerment within the profession, breaking down barriers to entry for all aspiring dental professionals.

 

Resources:

https://www.dentaleconomics.com/practice/human-resources/article/14293066/breaking-the-enamel-ceiling-lessons-from-women-in-dentistry

https://adanews.ada.org/ada-news/2021/march/women-make-up-growing-percentage-of-dental-workforce/

Mommy Dentist in Business (MDIB) - Community Site (mommydibs.com)

Taylor Nelson
Taylor Nelson
My name is Taylor Nelson, and I am deeply passionate about the art of building relationships. As the professional relations specialist here at Tokuyama, I thrive on the connections I forge and the bridges I build between people and organizations. Writing has always been my medium of choice, as I believe in the power of words to inspire, inform, and unify.

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Women in Dentistry: Ambition, Hard Work, and Support to Overcome Social Stigma and Gender Barriers

An Indespensable Role In celebrating the achievements of women in dentistry, we not only recognize their invaluable contributions to oral healthcare, but also admire the progress made. As we look to the future, we strive to continue to support and uplift women in dentistry fostering an environment where all individuals, regardless of gender, can thrive and impart their meaningful contributions to the field.