Scientific Head of DRDDS 3 – the only Indian dental conference dedicated to female dental speakers – Dr Nupur Shrirao pens down in detail, what the dental fraternity barely discusses.
– Dr Nupur Shrirao’s Editorial for Volume 6, Issue 6
Being a dentist is no easy task, and being a woman in this field comes with its own unique set of challenges. Through the years, changes have come in. Many things have changed, but few things are the same. Let us explore some of the hurdles that women dentists face on a daily basis. Let us also dive into solutions that can help women dentists overcome these obstacles and thrive in their profession.
One of the biggest challenges that women dentists encounter are the biological changes that occur throughout their lives. Pregnancy, menopause, and periods can all have an impact on their physical and mental well-being. These changes may require adjustments in their work schedule or sometimes, even temporary leaves to ensure they can take care of their health.
Unfortunately, workplace harassment is still a prevalent issue in many industries, including dentistry. Women dentists may face discrimination or be subjected to inappropriate behavior from colleagues or patients. This not only affects their professional growth but also takes a toll on their mental health and overall job satisfaction.
Balancing personal and professional responsibilities is another significant challenge for women dentists. Many women find themselves juggling multiple roles as dental professionals, mothers, wives, and caregivers. This often leads to time limitations and added stress as they try to excel in each area of their lives.
For young women, families are even more cautious. In a society where crimes against women are rising everyday, it is only natural for them to expect their daughter/daughter in law to ‘come back home in time, before it is dark’.
In certain cultures or societies, marriage restrictions can pose obstacles for women dentists. Some traditions may expect women to prioritize family life over their careers, limiting opportunities for advancement or forcing them to make difficult choices between personal fulfilment and professional success.
Most women traditionally shift to the partner’s home after marriage, which maybe in another city, state or country. In such a scenario, although the experience will still count, credibility, trust and contacts are lost. Most employers ask personal invasive questions about impending marriages because they are aware of this scenario and doubt the efforts the associate dentist will put in. This may contribute to the woman dentist start self doubting, and also start thinking on the same path if they are not firm in their thought process.
It’s firstly essential to acknowledge these challenges faced by women dentists, and believe that they do exist! Only then, can we work towards creating an inclusive environment where they can thrive.
Remember that every individual’s experience may vary, so it’s essential to listen to the specific needs of women dentists in order to tailor solutions accordingly.
By addressing issues such as workplace harassment, implementing flexible work arrangements, and promoting equal opportunities for career growth, we can help support the success of women in dentistry. Stay tuned for reading my next detailed article on possible solutions for challenges faced by women dentists!
If you are a woman dentist, we would love to hear about your experiences and any additional challenges you have faced. Share your story with us in the comments below!
Note: The content provided above highlights some of the challenges faced by women dentists. It is important to note that not all women dentists will experience these challenges, and their experiences may vary depending on various factors such as location, culture, and personal circumstances.
In this issue:
DRDDS 3 Speaker Special Issue: Dr Smita Athavale writes about gerodontics, multidisciplinary approaches and protocols in geriatric dental care.
DRDDS 3 Speaker Special Issue: Dr Mohini Daultani writes about low level laser therapy (LLLT) and its use to manage pain, wound healing and nerve injury in dentistry.
DRDDS 3 Speaker Special Issue: Dr Shivangi Gajwani Jain pends down a heartfelt letter to all budding dentists, sharing her experiences on accepting and overcoming fear.
DRDDS 3 Speaker Special Issue: Dr Sneha Divekar writes about the relation between athletes, their oral health and thier field performance.