Gender profiling is alive and well! Only 70% of dentists in this survey said they would hire a male hygienist if he were the most qualified candidate for the job. Twenty-three percent probably would not, and 7% admitted they flat-out wouldn’t hire a man.
On the other hand, 17% said their dental practice currently employs a male dental hygienist.
“”Public expectation dictates a female. I’d rather not be a trendsetter,” said one dentist. But another said, “While I was initially skeptical, the male hygienists I’ve worked with are excellent and very well liked by their patients.”
Here are some other thoughts from dentists on the elusive male hygienist:
- “As a female dentist, I have seen discrimination. Why should I discriminate on gender for my staff?” (New York dentist)
- “In our society, most patients still expect a female hygienist, so why rock the boat?” (Tennessee dentist)
- “The male hygienists I’ve seen in practices that have them have all been excellent. The patients, staff, and the dentists like them very much.” (Ohio prosthodontist)
- “I have tried it, but it did not work!!” (London, UK dentist)
- “I worked with one before and many patients preferred him!” (Illinois dental office worker)
- “He has been an integral part of my practice for 12 years. My patients, male and female, think the world of him and the excellent care he delivers. He is a real asset to my patients and my practice.” (Louisiana dentist)
- “We have employed male RDH’s in the past. It’s the personality and qualifications that matter, not the gender of the employee.” (Maine dentist)
- “Changes the mix in the office in a good way…..It is interesting to see the way patients accept our new situation. I really have not had any problems. The women think it is cool and the men have someone to talk to about baseball and cars.” (New York dentist)