SOME 160+ women recently attended a Leeds conference inspiring them to tackle gender imbalance in their home lives and forge leading careers in dentistry.

Inspiring Women in Dentistry 2020 was organised by Yorkshire dentists, Dr Andrea Ubhi and Dr Martina Hodgson. The full-day conference at the Crowne Plaza featured inspiring presentations by leading women inside and outside the profession including gold medal winning athlete Sally Gunnell OBE who spoke on a developing a winning mindset.

Topics up for discussion ranged from the power of positive thinking and mindfulness to whether women can ‘have it all’ and the impact of gender imbalance in the home. The role of facial aesthetics within dentistry and the inspiring life story of top London hygienist Anna Middleton were also on the agenda.

Coinciding with International Women’s Day and its theme of achieving a more gender equal world, many of the presentations focused on the challenges facing women in dentistry today not least of which is an imbalance at home impacting on professional careers.

In her presentation ‘Stretch for Amazing’, Andrea Ubhi explained that women have a theoretical equality but there often lacks a practical equality. This is largely due to women doing 40% more childcare and 30% more housework than men in households where they both work fulltime.

“Only 19% of dental business owners are women and worldwide only 5% are dental implantologists. Statistically women are also more reluctant to apply for promotion believing their good performance will naturally lead to results,” said Andrea.

“Women need to be stepping up, asking for promotion and leadership positions and expecting the equality at home that will give them the time to shine. We don’t want mediocre women taking leadership positions from brilliant men just to improve the ratio; we want brilliant women to be leading alongside the brilliant men.”

Andrea and Martina set up Inspiring Women in Dentistry three years ago after a chance meeting in a Wetherby coffee shop showed them how beneficial it was to talk to other women in leadership.

“Being a leader can be isolating, whereas together, life can be rich and full of friendship, companionship and great ideas! We learnt so much from each other that we wanted more women to feel the same – stronger together – and so Inspiring Women in Dentistry was born,” explained Martina.

The third event of its kind, each getting bigger and better, the conference was attended by female and also male dental practice owners, dentists, therapists, technicians, hygienists and managers from throughout the UK.

“Not only was the 2020 conference tremendously well attended but we’ve had really positive feedback from women saying how inspired they felt, how their confidence has increased and how events in future,” added Martina.