Our Future Dental Leadership
As the years progress, we seemingly develop more and more educational resources. While we were training in our homes, learning online via Zoom, attending virtual course conferences, and hopefully experiencing a return to face-to-face learning, our industry has maintained its vitality throughout these challenging years. A variety of new presentation topics has also been emerging from the combination of old and new processes, leading to the diverse selection from which we as presenters can draw. These innovations in method and subject are evidence of the vigor of the industry and the willingness to adapt, change, and grow.
Perhaps one of the most promising signs of the improvement and progression of our industry is the increase in female technicians and presenters. At a recent laboratory conference at which I spoke in October, two of the other speakers were female. While that number is still too small, our industry has admittedly had a somewhat male-driven education system for many years. The emergence of more female speakers is a much-needed addition to the dental profession. According to Zippia, which uses machine learning to collect employment data, 48.4% of dental technicians in the United States are women. Conversely, Zippia reports that 54.5% of clinicians are women. As we look forward to the next year, I look forward to these changing demographics and to the inclusion of new voices and perspectives. Of course, AEGIS co-founded Inside Dental Technology with Pam Johnson and Valerie Berger, two visionaries who brought together a plethora of information and insight and have been instrumental not only in the creation of the magazine, but also in the organization of several events aimed at empowering women in the profession.
Growth is not immediate, and change does not happen in a day, but let us use our own history to propel our industry forward. Years ago, dental laboratories in the US were part of an American industry, but dental technology has since prospered from the inclusion of international voices. Challenged by the pandemic, courses became virtual (and often international) and pushed by the latest technological advances, procedures, and artistry. Female speakers and educators will continue to evolve and push our industry forward, continuing to expand the voices and knowledge in our industry and provide leadership that is beneficial to the expanding and advancing dental profession.
Peter Pizzi, MDT, CDT