We Need to Talk About Women in Dentistry

An Introduction to DeW.Life, and Anne Duffy

It’s no surprise that dentistry, like most medical professions, has been historically male-dominated. Yet more and more women are coming to the forefront and pursuing careers as dental professionals. According to Anne Duffy, founder of DeW.Life magazine, 50% of dental school graduates are women – and we need to talk about it.

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Anne Duffy, Founder, DeW.Life Magazine

Anne, a Registered Dental Hygienist, was inspired to start DeW.Life after speaking to some friends who felt under-appreciated in the profession. It appeared to be a common theme in her conversations with her fellow women in dentistry and it just didn’t sit right with her. After one particular phone call, she decided she needed to be the person to give these women a platform to speak from. Eight and a half months later, DeW.Life was born.

A DeW, or Dental Entrepreneur Woman, is any woman in the dental community. When asked her about her vision, Anne said, “Everyone is important: the assistant, the hygienist, the office manager, the practice manager, the CPA, the attorney, the banker, the transition specialist, the insurance expert and undeniably, the dentist. I love magazines, I love stories and I love women. Publishing is my niche, so here we are.” The “About Us” page on the website shares a similar message:

We want to fill a void that exists regarding female leaders and inspirational voices. To show young ladies entering the profession that the opportunities are real. To encourage those already digging in to raise their voices and for those seasoned veterans to give back and refuse to quit, because as we know, DeWs never retire!

Anne speaks from experience. In addition to her successful careers in dental hygiene and publishing, the North Carolina mother of three considers raising her children to be her greatest accomplishment, accompanied by the love she shares with her husband. She credits God for her success and keeps her life in balance with daily mass, exercise, work, volunteering, laughter, cooking, reading, and love.

DeW.Life is divided into five categories: style, inspiration, health, success, and video.  Examples of what you might find include an article on office design (under “Style”) or an article giving tips to people who have trouble sleeping (under “health”). My favorite sections of DeW.Life @DeWlifemag are “Success” and “Inspiration” though, because those, to me, are what DeW.Life is really about. I am lucky to have been given the opportunity to write for this fabulous publication myself and the women I’ve met through it are truly incredible. The “Success” and “Inspiration” columns are all about how we’ve come to be where we are today and where we want to go.

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DeW.Life magazine is divided into five categories: style, inspiration, health, success, and video. (Photo Courtesy: DeW.Life)

It is truly my belief that great women inspire great women. Anne inspired me, and her advice to other women starting off in dentistry is this: “Take every opportunity to learn and grow. Never stop! Face the fear of change and embrace fresh ideas. Look for opportunities that build on your strengths. Surround yourself with good people and be a good person. Good people find good people.”

Anne Duffy gives women an opportunity to build community. And DeW.Life is a constant reminder to dental professionals that while Lucy Hobbs may have been the first female dentist, she certainly wasn’t the last.

About the blogger

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Daryl Sznyter

Daryl Sznyter is a guest blogger for thedailyfloss.com and DeW.Life, as well as a published poet. She is passionate about lending a female voice to all things dentistry. She works in Service Dispatch at Benco Dental.

Read her most recent contribution to DeW.Life, encouraging women to never stop pursuing their dreams:
https://dew.life/2017/07/10/my-body-is-a-ticking-time-bomb-but-it-doesnt-need-to-be/

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