28 February 2020

Celebrating leading women on IWD 2020 - Dr Gitika Sanghvi

In the lead up to International Women's Day on Sunday 8 March, we're profiling the leadership journeys of leading ADAVB and eviDent women. First up we spoke to ADAVB President Dr Gitika Sanghvi.

The IWD theme is #Eachforequal and it’s about each one of us helping creating a gender equal world. How do you do this and how can others?

Recognising that gender bias can be an unconscious issue and making sure that we actively think about equality is important.  I think that as women, encouraging and helping one another is paramount to achieving gender equality. We need to be more confident in our abilities and be proud to celebrate our own and each others’ achievements. We need to encourage each other to put ourselves forward for higher level jobs, speaking engagements, leading teams, leadership programs or leadership roles, or whatever it is that involves ‘stepping up’. We need to be better at self-promotion and believing that we have what it takes to give it a go and not only do it, but thrive and succeed.

Tell us about your pathway throughout your leadership journey. 

I’ve always endeavoured to get involved and contribute.  At university, I was the Melbourne Dental Student Society President and became a representative on the ADAVB Recent Graduate and Student Committee that same year. Over the years I’ve put myself forward for positions on a few ADAVB committees and was nominated for, and completed, the Health Sector Leadership Program in 2012. I was elected to ADAVB Council in 2013, and after a few years I nominated to go on Executive. Now four years later, I’m ADAVB President.

Describe some of the highlights of your role as ADAVB President. 

It feels like the last seven months have flown by but there’s been so many highlights. Launching the Find a Dentist community engagement campaign (with Frank the Molar) was one of my favourites. It was exciting to be part of a completely different ADAVB initiative. Meeting with stakeholders has been interesting and eye opening as well. And of course, meeting and listening to the many members at all the events I’ve been to has been invaluable.

How can students get involved in leadership, while they’re studying and before they begin their career in dentistry?

My advice would be to firstly just get involved in general! Organising events, being a year rep or nominating for the student associations - all these things help you gain experience and work out whether you enjoy being in a leadership position. Talking to people and finding out about their leadership experiences is also a good idea. I’m always happy to chat to anyone about my experiences!

What are your top picks for getting involved in leadership at the ADAVB?

Start out by connecting with other ADAVB members by attending ADAVB Group other CPD/conference events to build your networks and your understanding of the issues that face members. Meet people, listen, share and be heard. Depending on your interests, apply for a role on an ADAVB committee or a community based organisation. Applications for our Mentoring Program close on 12 March so if you're a first year graduate get in quick to be paired with an experienced mentor. I would definitely go for a place on the Health Sector Leadership Program. This really helped me not only in my preparation for Council, but also in my everyday job and career. And, put yourself forward for a position on Council. Nominations open soon so keep an eye out!

What do you say to women considering taking the step into leadership with the ADAVB?

Go for it! There is an incredible amount of support amongst our members, and it is immensely satisfying.


Thinking about taking the next step? Enter our Facebook competition to attend the Brilliant Women Global event at Kooyong Tennis Club with Dr Gitika Sanghvi on IWD - Sunday 8 March, 11.30am. We now have FOUR tickets to give away! Be inspired by others' journeys and talk all things women and leadership with your ADAVB President. Entry is open to current ADAVB dentistry student members, including ADC candidates, and graduate members (up to ten years). Terms and conditions apply.

Further information about career development and leadership

ADAVB Groups - attend your local network meeting

Health Sector Leadership Program - applications open soon

Mentoring - applications close 12 March 2020

Committees - apply today!

Council - nominations open April 2020