I had the pleasure to welcome Df. Effie Habsha, Prosthodontist from Toronto. Dr. Habsha’s successful career represents women dentists’ access to dental specialties and their willingness to participate and contribute equally alongside their male counterparts in the dental profession. Through her initiative “Women in Dentistry, Work-Life Balance“, she strives to help her female colleagues navigate through some of the unique challenges that face women in dentistry.
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Chiraz Guessaier, CDA Oasis Manager
Dr. Habsha is an accomplished prosthodontist with several accolades. Having loved studying the sciences in school, she viewed dentistry as a good career option as it is both an art and science. Dr. Habsha decided to follow in Dr. George Zarb’s footsteps, her mentor during dental school, specializing in prosthodontics after dental school. Effie was amongst the first female prosthodontists in Toronto.
During her journey, Effie has been grateful to work in a profession. Her passion continues to grow as she strives to improve her clinical skills to provide optimal care to her patients. Additionally, through her lecturing and teaching commitments, she is also able to give back to the dental community and mentor others. Her passion project currently is “Women in Dentistry Work-Life Balance” which is a clinical symposium that brings women dentists together for a day of learning, sharing and networking.
Although dentistry is still a male-dominated profession, the demographics of dental school enrolment have changed such that the numbers of female and male students are almost equal. As a result, a shift within the profession is taking place as more women are taking an active role in education, speaking and leadership. Gender bias is becoming less of an issue in the profession compared to even a decade ago which may, in part, be due to the fact that as Canadians, we are more open-minded than perhaps other cultures and societies.
One challenge that remains as female professionals is the issue of maintaining a work-life balance especially as busy mothers. Women usually invest in their professions later in their career to be present as caregiver for young children. The benefit of dentistry as a career is being able to take time off more readily than in other careers. It is important that women surround themselves with a supportive network including colleagues, staff and family.
Looking 15-20 years down the road, Dr. Habsha would like to see women dentists even more empowered with a “sky’s the limit” attitude. The “glass ceilings” will be shattered in academia and leadership and women will enjoy the same successes as their male counterparts.
Dr. Habsha now enjoys mentoring her own students. The “sky is the limit” and female dental professionals can achieve the same clinical, academic and leadership success as male counterparts.
Full Interview (22.34″)