International Women’s Day: inspiring women in dentistry


International women's day: inspiring women in dentistry

Bupa Dental Care celebrates International Women’s Day by putting the spotlight on some of the inspiring women from the Bupa team.

At Bupa Dental Care, women’s health and wellbeing is hugely important. International Women’s Day on 8 March is the perfect time to spotlight women’s health and learn from some inspiring women around us.  

The theme of this year’s International Women’s Day is ‘inspiring inclusion’. One of the issues that can hinder a woman’s ability to fulfil her potential is the stigma around issues such as painful periods or menopause symptoms. 

Released recently, the latest chapter from the Bupa Wellbeing Index delves into the impact of stigmas surrounding women’s health. It showed that many women feel unable to share their symptoms with managers, even when they are severe.

According to the survey results, a significant number of women feel unable to be honest with their managers when taking a sick day due to severe period symptoms. The data shows:

  • 35% of women hesitate to be truthful with managers when taking a sick day due to severe period symptoms
  • Women tend to avoid talking about period sick days due to various reasons. These include not knowing if it’s a valid reason to call in sick (45%), feeling embarrassed (34%), or being concerned that their employer won’t understand (31%)
  • An estimated 16.7 million sick days are taken annually due to symptoms related to periods. On average, women take five days off per year due to these symptoms.

Our research has also found that over 900,000 women leave the workforce due to symptoms of menopause. 

Helping create an open conversation for women in dentistry, we spoke to some inspiring women from Bupa Dental Care to hear their day-to-day health concerns and experiences:

Caitlin Miller, head of hygiene and therapy, shares her own experience:

‘Check in on your female colleagues to see how they are doing, schedule breaks for days when you know you will be feeling uncomfortable or in pain, which can be made up at other times, and be kind, always.’

Caitlin Miller

Head of hygiene and therapy

Women’s health is a subject that has been long stigmatised in all aspects of work and life. Every month, I deal with pain and discomfort. On busy clinic days, I wear a tens machine on my lower back, have a cooling patch close by, or reach for a hot water bottle during breaks. This is a common occurrence for many people who manage the pain as best they can to avoid putting added stress on colleagues, disappointing patients, or losing income.

However, many women struggle with far more pain and discomfort than is considered ‘normal’ and are not getting the support they need. So businesses need to put programmes in place like Bupa has to help women access the support they need.

If you want to help, you can check in on your female colleagues to see how they are doing, schedule breaks for days when you know you will be feeling uncomfortable or in pain, which can be made up at other times, and be kind, always. You never know what someone is going through and doesn’t feel comfortable or brave enough to talk about.

Amelia Hodgson, head of dental nursing, prioritises exercise for her mental wellbeing

‘Stress can exacerbate health problems. However, studies have shown that exercising is an effective treatment for anxiety, relieving tension and stress and promoting overall health.’

Amelia Hodgson

Head of dental nursing

Fitness and exercise are essential for my physical and mental wellbeing. It gives me a dedicated time to disconnect from work and home life, allowing me to focus solely on myself. Whether taking a walk before work, during lunchtime or attending fitness classes, it helps clear my mind and re-energises me.

Stress can exacerbate health problems. However, studies have shown that exercising is an effective treatment for anxiety, relieving tension and stress and promoting overall health.

Anni Seaborne, head of general dentistry, believes that women’s health involves managing your mindset and not just putting up with symptoms

‘By learning from shared experiences and resources, women can navigate health challenges more effectively and stay focused on their goals.’

Anni Seaborne

Head of general dentistry

Cultivating a strong mindset is crucial for women to pursue and achieve their dreams. Especially in the face of health inequalities. Women need to prioritise self-care and acknowledge that their wellbeing is vital to thriving personally and professionally.

A proactive approach to wellness through healthy lifestyle choices can help mitigate the impact of women’s health problems. This might include regular exercise, a nutritious diet, and stress management techniques

Secondly, building a supportive network of friends, family, and healthcare professionals can provide encouragement and guidance along the journey. By learning from shared experiences and resources, women can navigate health challenges more effectively and stay focused on their goals. Ultimately, maintaining a positive outlook and refusing to be defined or limited by health challenges can empower women to overcome obstacles and realise their aspirations.

At Bupa, we aim to create a world where women are not held back due to health inequality. To achieve this, we are starting by ensuring that our employees are comfortable discussing their experiences.

We now offer Bupa Period Plan and Menopause Plan to our colleagues in the UK. This is available free of charge and allows them to speak to a doctor about what they are experiencing and gets them access to the support they need. This way, more women can access the health support they need to live longer, healthier, happier lives.


If you’re interested in a career at Bupa Dental Care, visit jobs.bupadentalcare.co.uk.



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