Inspiring Women in Dentistry to aim high

speakers at Inspiring Women in Dentistry conferenceAfter the success of the Inspiring Women in Dentistry conference, we find out what happened at the show.

Some 160+ women dental professionals have been inspired to aim high in their careers and address any gender imbalance in their home lives.

The inspiration came from leading women from inside and outside the profession. They gathered to speak at Inspiring Women in Dentistry 2020 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Leeds. Award-winning Yorkshire dentists, Dr Andrea Ubhi and Dr Martina Hodgson organised the day.

The topics for discussion ranged from the power of positive thinking and mindfulness to whether women can ‘have it all’. As well as 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.

Keynote speaker was gold medal winning former athlete Sally Gunnell. She is the only woman to ever hold four major track titles at the same time. Married mum of three Sally is now an author, TV presenter and inspirational speaker. She spoke about the journey she went on to go from being good at athletics to being one of the all-time best. Listening to her coach and looking at every small element of her game to improve were key to her success. But she also suggested that 70% of her wins were due to mental strength. Despite retiring from athletics, she still uses these tools today.

Sally Gunnell at the Inspiring Women in Dentistry conference

‘Stronger together’

Inspiring Women in Dentistry was born from a chance meeting between Martina and Andrea in a Yorkshire coffee shop when they couldn’t stop talking!

‘We discussed how empowering it is to talk with other women in leadership. Being a leader can be isolating whereas together, life can be rich and full of friendship, companionship and great ideas!’ explained Martina.

‘We learnt so much from each other that we wanted more women to feel the same – stronger together.’

After starting out with a pilot event involving just 20 colleagues in 2018, Inspiring Women in Dentistry grew until in its third year it became a full day conference attended by 160 women plus male colleagues and timed to coincide with International Women’s Day 2020 with its theme of forging a gender equal world, celebrating women’s achievement and taking action for equality.

‘The upper echelon of dentistry under represents women. This is largely because we are failing to grasp that equality and take on positions of leadership and those higher paid roles,’ said Andrea.

‘The reasons for this are varied and complex. But they can also stem from traditional inequalities at home. Here women may still be seen as the main carers of children, the B class rather than A class wage earner. Therefore they’re most likely to reduce working hours and put careers on hold. There is still a pressure within society for women not to forge ahead.’

Inspiring Women in Dentistry

Inspiring Women in Dentistry aims to provide female practice owners, dentists, therapists, technicians, hygienists and managers with a platform to network, share experiences, learn from each other and aspire to achieve more.

Martina added: ‘We see so many women encouraged to come forward at these events. They explain how a lack of confidence and “imposter syndrome” – that unjustified fear of not being good enough for their role – is holding them back. We want all women in dentistry to feel supported by their peers. And we give each other the courage and drive to reach our full potential and achieve our dreams.

‘The feedback is amazing with women feeling more confident, inspired and wanting to step up and do more. We look forward to inspiring more women in dentistry in future years.’

All the profits made from Inspiring Women in Dentistry 2020 are going to the charity Asha Nepal. This charity cares for survivors of trafficking and severe violence. Dr Andrea Ubhi is the chair of Asha Nepal. She made a live video call with the team in Nepal during the conference. They discussed the issues facing girls in Nepal, the biggest of which is poverty.

For more information and to sign up for next year visit

Get the most out of your membership by subscribing to Dentistry CPD
  • Access 600+ hours of verified CPD courses
  • Includes all GDC recommended topics
  • Powerful CPD tracking tools included
Register for webinar
Add to calendar