Women in dentistry see progress, continued challenges

By | January 28, 2016

Did you know that less than 50 years ago, only 1.1 percent of dental students were women? Today, it’s 47.7 percent.

According to ADA News, while challenges remain for women dentists — addressing the lack of representation in leadership roles and education, improving ergonomics, closing a wage gap — women leaders in the profession say the rise in number of women in the profession has brought, and continues to bring, a number of positive changes.

According to an ADA’s Health Policy Institute survey, the median annual net income of male dentists in private practice in 2014 was 38 percent higher than that of women.

As Dr. Mary Martin, president of the American Association of Women Dentists, puts it, “The fact that women are nearly 50 percent in dental schools but are not equally represented in the number of continuing education speakers, in the number of professors teaching in dental schools or offered tenure positions, in organized dentistry leadership roles, is an issue.”

For new dentists who are women, what challenges remain for you?


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