In celebration of International Women’s Day on 8 Mar, Dentsply Sirona has reaffirmed and expanded its longstanding commitment to empowering women worldwide. In line with the day’s 2023 theme of “Embrace Equity,” Dentsply Sirona continues to be a strong advocate for more measures in the dental industry to promote women, ensuring they could experience true equity, while having their voices heard, their expertise recognised, and their achievements celebrated.
Dentsply Sirona has been promoting women in dentistry for years with a range of successful measures and initiatives. The company has also made diversity, equity and inclusion a key focus of its sustainability strategy “BEYOND: Taking action for a brighter world.”
“Embracing Equity goes beyond equality for women in the workplace,” said Lisa Yankie, chief human resources officer at Dentsply Sirona. “It is about taking action to ensure a fair opportunity for all women and finding ways in which we can make progress for a better future in this area.”
Company-wide programmes drive diversity, equity and inclusion
Internal initiatives at Dentsply Sirona to promote women empowerment include DS Women, an Employee Resource Group that works to help elevate female talent through professional development, affording women opportunities to ensure lead practices and take centre stage in the company. DS Women has grown to include members in 40 countries across eight global regions, and sponsors events throughout the year, including the Chicago Women’s Breakfast — a top event for female dental industry leaders attending the Chicago Dental Society’s Midwinter Meeting.
“As a leader in the dental industry, we have the opportunity and the obligation to be a leader in the promotion, commitment and actions to drive gender equity,” said Glenn Coleman, executive vice-president, chief financial officer, and executive sponsor of DS Women. “While we recognise and appreciate this is an ongoing journey, I am proud of where we are and in the direction we are going.”
Dentsply Sirona also hosts training and awareness sessions for all employees around the world on how to identify and eliminate unconscious bias, while building inclusivity inside and outside the workplace. In addition to this, and as part of its sustainability programme, the company is a signatory of the Paradigm for Parity commitment, pledging toward the goal of achieving full gender parity by 2030. Dentsply Sirona is working to achieve both gender parity and gender pay parity by 2025. As of this past year, 44% of the Dentsply Sirona global workforce is female, including 49 percent of those at or above the Director level. In July 2022, the global gender pay gap across internal professional managerial levels was at 1.3%, a drop of nearly four percentage points from the previous year.
Driving change in the industry
Dentsply Sirona also looks beyond its own employees to bring about change in the dental community through several initiatives and actions. Dentsply Sirona sponsors a global speaker development programme called FirstTo50 which promotes women dentists, specialists and dental assistants as speakers at industry events and provides structured speaker training for all levels of experience. Two classes and a total of 16 women participated in the FirstTo50 programmes in 2021. In 2022, the programme expanded from two to five cohorts. Former and recent graduates have spoken at many industry-leading events, including Dentsply Sirona World 2021 and 2022 in Las Vegas and the PEERS (Platform for Exchange of Experience, Research and Science) meeting in the UK.
In addition, Dentsply Sirona is a partner of Women in DSO, an association that provides mentoring, learning and development programmes to women in dental service organisations. To promote diversity in those who enter the dental profession, Dentsply Sirona also recently announced a partnership with the National Dental Association, to help fund NDA programmes and support opportunities to provide minority communities with access to dental education, leveraging Dentsply Sirona’s dental technology to educate dentists and student dentists of colour.
Fundraising Campaign in favour of “CARE”
To celebrate International Women’s Day, the DACH chapter of DS Women ERG has organised a fundraiser for Dentsply Sirona employees. Running from 7 Feb to 31 Mar, the objective is to raise 2,000 euros for the German non-profit organisation CARE, which helps women and girls in need in their fight for comprehensive and equal human rights around the world through multiple educational, well-being and economic empowerment initiatives.