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Empowering Women Researchers in the New Century

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I invited the corresponding author of an article recently published in Advances in Dental Research, Dr. Effie Ioannidou, to tell us about the barrieres women researchers face and if there are potential interventions that will reduce those barriers.

Dr. Ioannidou is Professor in the Department of Periodontology at the UConn School of Dental Medicine. Please follow the link to her complete bio.

I hope you find the conversation informative. We always look forward to hearing your thoughts and receiving your questions and/or suggestions about this post and other topics. Leave a comment in the box below or send us your feedback by email.

Until next time!
Chiraz Guessaier, CDA Oasis Manager

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Article Key Messages

Gender inequality in science, medicine, and dentistry remains a central concern for the biomedical research workforce today. Although progress in areas of inclusivity and gender diversity was reported, growth has been slow. Women still face multiple challenges in reaching higher ranks and leadership positions while maintaining holistic success in these fields.

However, explicit and implicit bias is shown to affect [women's] career advancement and result in low representation in senior ranks (National Research Council 2007).

Within dental research and academia, there might exist trends toward a more balanced pipeline. However, women continue to face barriers in seeking leadership roles and achieving economic equity and scholarship recognition.

In an effort to evaluate the status of women in dental research and academia, the authors examined the role of the International Association for Dental Research (IADR), a global research organization, which has improved awareness on gender inequality.

The goal of this article is to review five crucial issues of gender inequality in oral health research and academics—workforce pipeline, economic inequality, workplace harassment, gender bias in scholarly productivity, and work-life balance—and to discuss proactive steps that the IADR has taken to promote gender equality.

...although there has been legislative progress supporting and securing women’s role in dental research, gender inequality is still evident in a complex political, economic, and social context.

Providing networking and training opportunities through effective mentoring and coaching for women researchers, the IADR has developed a robust pipeline of women leaders while promoting gender equality for women in dental academia through a culture shift.

As knowledge gaps remained on the levels of conscious and unconscious bias and sexist culture affecting women advancement in academics, as well as the inter-sectionality of gender with race, gender identity, ability status, sexual orientation, and cultural backgrounds, the IADR has recognized that further research is warranted.

 

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