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Women & Dentistry Reports
A Global Dialogue
Technology has trans formed how we communicate with each other, and the marketplace is energized by global competition. It is no surprise then that global healthis a more acceptable term now than it was in the past. Issues surrounding health and disease transcend geographic boundaries and, as health professionals, we are responsible fo r exchanging and sharing our own knowledge and expertise with others around the world .
Unless we consider gender issues in all aspects of oral health, including health professionals´s education, practice, use of services and products by the public, and all the associated research, we will miss real opportunities to advance the quality of overall leadership in oral health. Women, as leaders in many of these issues, can embrace these opportunities for finding new solutions.
As contact increases among dental educators, the understanding and appreciation of different approaches to teaching and learning increases as well. DentEd, a project supported by the European Union´s (EU) Directorate for Education and Culture (www.dented.org), with more than 100 partners in Europe and links to the American Dental Education Association, was completed last September. A new 3-year thematic project, DentEd Evolves, has been approved by the EU, and includes a Global Congress on Dental Education. There is a challenge to think outside the box if we can open our eyes to the opportunity to compare and contrast experiences across cultures.
While leadership opportunities in dental education or research recognize no gender restrictions, this is a time for women´s leadership styles to shine. Women more frequently display elements of negotiation, analytic listening, creating ambient environments, collaboration, and nurturing than men, yet it ta kes both genders to work together within our local or national contexts. There are many opportunities to raise gender issues on the global level and to explore and appreciate what we can learn from each other. If the momentum of sharing is primarily a feminine characteristic, it is also a great strength.