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Attending the Inaugural 2019 DeW Retreat as a Non-Dental Professional

Logo for the Dental Entrepreneur Women retreat
The first ever DeW retreat was filled with two days of empowering female dental professionals to live their strengths confidently. Here’s what it was like to attend the event.

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Dental Entrepreneur Women, or DeW, is a lifestyle magazine created by Anne Duffy specifically for women in the dental industry. However, DeW is more than just a magazine – it’s a fully fledged community where dental professionals can feel uplifted, inspired, and like they belong.

Biteline was lucky enough to not only sponsor the first ever DeW retreat, but to also attend. The retreat’s theme was “Learn to Live Your Strengths,” which focused on helping us discover our strengths and empowering us to embrace them. Although I may not be a dental professional, I am a woman working for Biteline, a startup and dental hiring app, so I was ready to make the most out of the retreat.


My Core Strengths

Before attending the DeW retreat, I took the Clifton Strengths Test and learned about my top five strengths.

  1. Competition: I measure my progress against the performance of others and I am motivated by the concept of winning.
  2. Activator: I turn thoughts into actions and want to do something right away (AKA once a thought is in my head…it’s happening).
  3. Command: I have a strong presence and take control of a situation when making decisions.
  4. Self-Assurance: I am confident in my ability to manage my own life and take risks.
  5. Significance: I want to make a big impact. I am independent and strive to prioritize projects based on the impact they will have.


Thursday: Embracing Your Superpowers

Valerie Menzel and Leanne Burnett from Strengths Savvy spoke to us on Thursday about the importance of embracing our strengths. Society has taught us to pick ourselves apart and constantly focus on what we want to improve. Celebrating our strengths is sometimes even frowned upon, and women are shamed for bragging or being full of themselves. This is especially prevalent in today’s society, where it is so easy to get carried away on social media and compare ourselves to one another.

Whether you’re experiencing these feelings at work, home, or both, this mindset leads to a never ending cycle of feeling inadequate. My biggest takeaway is to be kinder and more positive towards myself. Whenever I find myself focusing on things I don’t do well enough, I will replace those thoughts by celebrating my strengths and everything I am good at instead. After all, if you wouldn’t say something to your best friend, why should you think or say it about yourself?


Friday: One Word…Empowerment

While Thursday focused on embracing our strengths overall, Friday was full of empowering us to live our strengths proudly. Minal Sampet’s session, We’re More Alike Than Different, was one of my favorites. She highlighted how generations tend to spend too much time focusing on what makes them different, which causes intergenerational issues in the workplace.

This is something to be aware of, especially in the dental industry where professionals work very closely with their colleagues every day. Despite our ages, we all have things in common, such as our desire to innovate, work smarter, and of course, provide the best care possible for patients. If we actually sat down and had a conversation, we would realize that we are more alike than different after all.

Not only did I learn so much about myself at the DeW retreat, but I also realized that everyone has their own strengths – both professional and personal – that they bring to the dental industry. When we come together and lift each other up, rather than tearing one another down, we can truly learn something from everyone that we meet.

The dental industry has a sense of community that many other industries simply do not have. I’ve always known this, even as a non-dental professional, but I was able to experience the tight-knit community firsthand at the DeW retreat.

This is what truly makes the dental industry so special – and it’s time to start living out this strength.

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