Women in dentistry – bouncing back from COVID-19
In her in augural column Andrea Ubhi garners views from female-led businesses on their COVID-19 bounce back plans. She explains why working together as an industry has never been so important.
Post pandemic preparation
At the start of the COVID-19 crisis, after the initial shock and numbness, the realisation hit that dentistry as we know it would change forever.
These changes still aren’t set in stone as we wait for industry guidelines. Yet preparing for the new normal became all consuming.
The power of collaboration became even more important, albeit digitally. Reaching out to networks replacing conversations with patients with conversations with peers from across the globe. My network had never felt of more value.
For many, being a practice owner can be lonely at the best of times. But an international crisis amplifies this. Having a group of likeminded people to share, confide and support can provide no end of inspiration.
After the success of the Inspiring Women in Dentistry events we knew there was an appetite and need for collaboration especially amongst female-led businesses.
As lockdown hit, we created dedicated channels on Whatsapp and offered weekly meetings via Zoom. We invited anyone who wanted to join to be part of the conversation.
Each week the group grew and with it the openness and willingness to share. Refreshingly, rather than competing the key is collaboration.
With their permission I asked the group to share some of their views:
Dr Martina Hodgson, co-founder of Inspiring Women in Dentistry, says: ‘Support, understanding and the ability to help other women going through exactly the same problems has been hugely empowering, and has given us all strength and resolve.
‘Following our national conference at the beginning of March, just two weeks before lockdown, we knew that many of the amazing women would all be in the same position, feeling left at sea without direction and guidance from the powers that be. So we reached out and supported each other virtually.’
Getting down to business
Business survival mode kicked in early. First came the focus on staff and patients. Communication was king and I continue regular dialogue with my teams via Zoom and patients via social media channels. Then the planning and creating a new reality for business post lockdown.
Many of the women in these groups shared a sense of overcoming the initial financial fears for their business and coming out with a renewed sense of fight and vigour. Frank and pragmatic conversations took place, opinions shared and re-focused plans put in place.
Sanaa Kadar, practice owner at Indigo Dental said: ‘Coming up with ideas and ways to get through this has been invaluable. I really hope this is something that will continue even once COVID is a forgotten memory.’
Dr Kirrin Punia, Fresh Smile Clinic Brighouse, says: ‘Reaching out to collaborate with other female practice owners has made me feel uplifted and invigorated. I am able to stand straighter and walk taller as the camaraderie I have found in these like-minded ladies illuminates the path to an uncertain future.
If you need inspiration and want to inspire others too, you can. If you need help finding a group that suits you, then find me on Facebook and message me. I’ll see if I can help you find what you need.
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