An alarming statistic; female physicians are 2.5 to 4 times more likely to commit suicide then the general population (Hampton et al, 2005). What could be the factors that make women at risk? One theory is sexism at work and the work life balance of mothers.
There is a lot of work to do in tackling sexism in Dentistry and supporting women as they juggle motherhood and working life.
You only have to look at the Facebook grouos to see the number of inappropraite sexist comments dressed up as “lads banter”. With regards to sexism, it starts with educating men and raising our men differently so they appreciate the nuances in the words they use. Same applies to everything – from devaluing mental health to making offensive comments to women in dentisry- sensitive choice of language is key. Many industries have mandatory courses teaching how best to communicate well and this is certaibly something that could be introduced to enhance well-being at work.
For helping mothers, continued flexibility is great but also a profession that reflects the shift in households currently. Men are increasingly being involved in childcare duties and more teamwork then ever before. If the culture could permit 10am starts so they could drop the children, or early finishes etc. then it would certainly help the family unit and women in dentistry. Scandinavian countries LOVE supporting their people – you’ll find the work culture has been created so that they all finish in the afternoon in time for spending dinner with family. Denmark and Sweden sit on top of the list for work life balance 👌🏽
#empoweringwomenindentistry #mentalwellbeing #sexism #supportingmothers #challengingbarriers