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Professor Investigates Why So Few Women Lead Dental Schools


Kelly Holst, BSDH, MS, DMD, an assistant professor at Temple University’s Kornberg School of Dentistry, is addressing the underrepresentation of women as deans in United States dental schools. Holst, a recipient of the American Dental Education Association (ADEA) Enid A. Neidle Scholar-in-Residence Program Award, is conducting research by interviewing current and former women deans to understand their career paths and identify changes needed for achieving equity in leadership roles. Motivated by a 2021 study revealing a five-to-one ratio of men to women serving as dental school deans, Holst seeks to explore this gender disparity despite an increasing number of women entering the field. The American Dental Association Health Policy Institute reports that 56% of first-year dental students in 2021 were women — the highest rate ever. Holst’s research aims to shed light on the experiences of women in leadership roles and provide recommendations for addressing the gender gap in dental school dean positions. Click here to read more.

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