Community | 11 March, 2021

#IWD2021: Claire Watson

#IWD2021: Claire Watson

International Women’s Day 2021 is all about forging a gender equal world. Maven Dental #ChooseToChallenge by celebrating some of the amazing Maven women who contribute to our organisation.

In celebration of #IWD2021, we spoke to Claire Watson who is Head of Operations for Maven Dental.

Claire’s career in the dental industry started straight out of school. “It was accidental. I was just out of school and had been working as a casual at KFC. They approached me about going into their management program (which I was pretty excited about at the time) but my Mum persuaded me to look at other options.  I simply answered an ad in the paper that read “Junior Dental Assistant – No experience necessary” – and the rest is history!” 

Claire wearing corporate attire smiling

Claire was fortunate to be provided with the opportunity to learn on the job, I was employed by a Dentist and his wife. She was very pregnant and needed someone to be trained as a DA, Receptionist, Cleaner (and babysitter) – I did all those things. I was the only employee and we worked 6 days.”

Claire recognizes how fortunate she was to find that her first boss was also an amazing mentor.  “My boss was amazing. He used to challenge me & test my knowledge every day by asking me to tell him what he was using, why we were doing a particular procedure. This really fuelled my passion for dentistry.” Claire says.

“Dentistry is interesting because when I started working in Dentistry in the 80’s, this was a male dominated profession. Only 15% of dental students were female. This is now changing. As a young DA, it was definitely there but I didn’t realise it. Looking over my old textbooks/learning materials the DA references were all “she" or "her”, implying that a DA would be female and the Dr examples were all male. It’s great to see how dentistry has progressed as a profession.”

As someone who has had many great mentors throughout her career, the tables have now turned and Claire is often sought out for advice. “All through your career you are developing your personal brand and your professional image. I am often approached on how to deal with a difficult situation or how to prepare for a challenging conversation. There are two main pieces of advice I like to give:

1. Stay in your integrity. It doesn’t matter how another person is behaving or what the situation is, once you lose your integrity, it’s gone. You don’t get a chance to get it back.

2. Be on purpose and be kind. Even if you are faced with a difficult situation you can be kind and as long as the purpose for the conversation is right/you’re doing it for the right reasons, you will be ok.”

Claire Watson is just one of many inspirational women in the Maven Dental network. Keep an eye out for more profiles of amazing Maven women as we celebrate #IWD2021.

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