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Taking initiative: Women in dentistry event at King's

​29 March 2017

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A King's Women in Dentistry Society event, 'Taking initiative', took place on 28 March 2017 to offer support and advice to student dentists on getting ahead in their careers.

The event was organised in collaboration with the Athena Swan Charter and the BDA, and a line-up of key speakers spoke to students about future career paths and offered their top tips. The event was sponsored by Coltene.

Introducing the event, Professor Mark Woolford, Dean of Education at King's College London Dental Institute, said that over 65% of dental students at King's are now female, and talked about the impact that this was having on the structure of the profession.

Sarveen Mann, GDP and practice owner, shared her story of balancing a family and a career and her belief that dentistry is a great career for both women and men, as it allows for flexibility of pathways, and doesn't discriminate against gender or age. She spoke about the power of using social media to promote positive dentistry, as well as helping to raise your personal profile.

Janine Brooks MBE gave a presentation on the power of networks and her tips on how to build them. She noted that although dentistry has three female Chief Dental Officers in the UK, there is still a lack of representation of women at more senior levels and particularly in dental politics. She called on female students and young dentists to step up and get engaged.

Some top tips on getting a post as a dental core trainee, including how to apply and some good ways to make your application stand out, were given by Surina Bhola, a DCT and blogger for the BDA.

Sahar Aghababaie, talked about her experience of doing dental foundation training, and her current role, where works as an associate in a mixed practice, but also takes on the role of practice manager. She highlighted some of the different career options available for young dentists and the importance of doing further training and learning, and the need to have a career plan.

Sami Stagnell, Oral Surgeon, Fellow in Clinical Leadership and BDA Young Dentists Committee Vice-Chair, talked about the work of the Committee and the importance of young dentists having a voice and getting involved.

Many of the speakers raised the issue of dentistry often being a quite isolating profession and underlined the need for dentists to work together more, to share experiences and support each other, particularly through stressful periods.

Many of the speakers highlighted the value of going to BDA local meetings, to network and meet like-minded professionals, as well as finding out about opportunities to further your career.

The King's Women in Dentistry Society now plans to run some workshops for student dentists on leadership and mentoring, if you are interested in finding out more, get in touch via their Facebook page.

Read our blogs about women in dentistry and our celebration of International Women's Day earlier this month.

BDA branches and sections

BDA branches and sections are your chance to get engaged in dental politics at the local level and to interact with colleagues from all spheres of the profession.

The groups organise a varied programme of educational events on both clinical and general topics, plus social events, to help dentists keep up-to-date with their learning and to meet with colleagues: find your local group.