We are campaigning to address the imbalances on the UK Dental Boards. Our new research has shown that only 10 out of 26 boards we surveyed had a gender balance. Importantly, 8 boards had less than 40% women members. This is simply wrong and needs correcting. You can find this data here.
On this site, we will publicise our efforts, hold discussions, post relevant documents and update on our progress.
What are we concerned about?
There has been a substantial body of research into the area of diversity on non-dental boards. In general, this has illustrated that inclusive and balanced boards are likely to be more effective, better able to understand their stakeholders, be open to new ideas and have broader experience. This, in turn, leads to improved decision making.
Importantly, there is a tendency for boards to be made up of similar members with similar backgrounds, experience and networks. If the members are homogenous, they are more likely to produce “group think”. Furthermore, it is essential that boards make use of the available skills within an organisation. By not utilising their female talent, organisations are likely to have poorer performance.
Finally, it is our viewpoint that as 50% of registered dentists are women, any imbalance is simply wrong and may represent discrimination.
“Diversity must become core business for all NHS boards: diversity data should be a regular part of board information. Initiatives should have success measured and reported on. Directors should be accountable”.
“Rather than having bland ‘we strive to be an equal opportunities employer’ wording, actually identifying and explicitly saying, ‘we welcome applications from these under-represented protected characteristics’ and then listing them: so BME, LGBT”.
We’re a group that formed to simply highlight the issue of the imbalance of the UK Dental Boards. We hope to open healthy debate and be a source of information that the boards could use to make changes if they so wish.
Retired dentist. Previously, Orthodontist, Dean of Manchester Dental School and Chair of General Dental Council.
Professor of Psychology applied to Dentistry, University of Sheffield
Chartered Psychologist. International Association of Dental Research Distinguished Scientist.
Claire Stevens CBE
Consultant in Paediatric Dentistry.
Clinical policy lead Office of the CDO. Founding member Diversity in Dentistry Action Group (DDAG).
Mummy of two, practising dentist, clinical advisor for NHSE, clinical leadership manager for the Office of the Chief Dental Officer, England and the Chair/founder of the Diversity in Dentistry Action Group (DDAG).
Member BDA PEC. Lauren’s main focus for the past few years has been on helping to maintain the mental health of dental professionals. She is a Trustee of Confidental, a helpline providing emotional first aid to dentists in crisis.
Jason Wong MBE
Jason is currently Deputy Chief Dental officer for England. He has held a range of positions including chairing the Local Dental Network for Hertfordshire and South Midlands and the West Midlands as well as secretary of Lincolnshire Local Dental committee for 16 years
Worked in some of the highest needs areas in Manchester for over 15 years. Chair Greater Manchester LDN. Winner of FGDP Dentist in the Community in 2019.