First Nordic Women’s Implantology Network (WIN) workshop in Stockholm: inspiring
Inspiring, enjoyable, great team building, absolutely worth it! This is how participants reported back on the Nordic WIN workshop, which took place on June 2nd and 3rd in Stockholm. On the initiative of Straumann Nordic, women dentists from Sweden, Norway and Denmark met for their first network meeting. On the agenda: Lectures, workshops – and simply having fun! The initiative was started by Straumann to encourage and support women to become active in implant dentistry and achieve their full potential.
What is the Women’s Implantology Network (WIN)?
Although the number of women dentists graduating today is higher than men, statistics show that women are under-represented in implant dentistry. This applies to all areas and at all levels ( surgeons, speakers, key opinion leaders (KOLs), practice owners and leadership positions). This imbalance needs to be addressed and it starts with building a strong community of women who are active and successful in implant dentistry. Supported by Straumann's commitment to playing an active role in assisting this, WIN was formed in October 2016. The aim of this network is to connect international women with different involvement and responsibilities (across the dental specialties, academia/private practice, with/without family, part-timers/full-timers etc.) who are willing to share their experience and knowledge. The hope is to inspire fellow women colleagues to enter implant dentistry and expand their skills. The diversity of energetic and successful women in WIN will enable it to address the imbalance in implant dentistry of men and women in the future.
The meeting started with a scientific lecture on bone augmentation with autologous mesenchymal stem cells - groundbreaking scientific research by Cecilie Gjerde. We continued with a presentation by Trine Bjelke-Holtermann on Women and the International Team of Implantology (ITI).
During two intense workshops sessions, participants discussed the situation and challenges of women in implant dentistry and how Straumann can provide support. Women dentists face both external and internal challenges. Women are often their own worst critics. From the outside, attitudes and structures are not always beneficial, and women struggle to maintain the work-life balance in their role as working parents. Nevertheless, the participants still agreed that they have the best job in the world. With the help of female networks and encouraging each other, women can achieve great things. It is also important for women to dare to go outside their comfort zone and trust their colleagues. For new dentists it is important to have female role models.
The day ended with a fun activity at the Laserdome and a dinner together, giving the opportunity to get to know each other better.
“A very, very good way to enable the women to get to know each other, to network, to benefit from each other, to be stronger.” Trine Bjelke-Holtermann, Norway
Breaking out of the comfort zone
Since all participants speak and lecture in their jobs, the second network day was fully dedicated to individual speaker training. Highly encouraged by trainer Sylvia Pitz to step out of their comfort zone, the participants had a great learning experience, with practical tips in a supportive environment filled with laughter.
“We can get to know and learn from each other and inspire others, and it can also be a positive development for the industry.” Ann André-Bergman, Sweden
Continue the momentum
The participants' feedback was extremely positive. They enjoyed being together, having time for personal talks, valued the lectures that kept them up to date with scientific standards, and found it inspiring to listen to talented women. The participants would like to meet again, and they also saw how this could benefit newly graduated dentists who are interested in implantology. To continue the momentum all participants were invited to join a dedicated WIN international facebook group, and in the future will be invited to attend the upcoming international and local events and workshops. Several of the participants are already involved in Straumann projects. For example, three new courses have been added to the course catalog for 2018 with five of the WIN participants. For the same course catalog we are also happy to include WIN participants in our Mentorlist. Very exciting! These are great opportunities for beginners in implantology to learn from female role models. Last but not least for 2018 we plan a follow-up meeting and a new event to attract new WIN members.