THIS PAST SEPTEMBER, at a three-day gala event in San Francisco, Benco Dental brought together some of the greatest women in dentistry, and honored the best of the best, at our sixth annual Lucy Hobbs Project Celebration.

In both 2016 and 2017, meanwhile, Benco was named one of the top companies in America for executive women by the National Association of Female Executives—and naturally, we’re eagerly awaiting the publication of the 2018 list, which hadn’t been released as of press time.

One dividend of our ongoing Lucy Hobbs Project, which celebrates female dentists: a better workplace for everyone.

We don’t think those two things—lauding our industry’s top female talent and being recognized as a great place for women to work—are at all coincidental. Honoring the legacy of America’s first female dentist, and the thousands who have followed the path Lucy Hobbs forged, is simply part of our company’s DNA. Our customers, whether they buy from us or just read this magazine, can see that. And so can our employees, especially as we take what we learn through the Lucy Hobbs Project and apply it internally. Supporting women creates an environment that benefits everyone: Benco has been named one of Fortune magazine’s Best Places to Work in Health Care for the past three years running.

“I’m fortunate to be surrounded by a dynamic leadership team that’s innovative and aligned with my vision,” says Benco’s chief financial officer, Karen Friar. “My role as a female executive lets me demonstrate to my colleagues the strengths that are unique to women—and that we have no limitations on achieving our career goals.” She’s not alone: With the exception of our technical units, which still skew male, fully one-third of our leadership team is made up of women. That’s higher than the U.S. average, as detailed by the Center for American Progress, and higher than the percentage of female dentists overall, according to the ADA. It still leaves room for improvement, of course. Given shifting trends in dental-school enrollment, dentistry is heading in the direction of gender parity, and we expect no less from Benco—including our technical execs!

“I’m excited to be able to blaze a path for the next generation of executive women who will continue our mission to drive dentistry forward,” Friar adds. Lucy Hobbs, that boundlessly admirable nineteenth-century pioneer, couldn’t have said it better herself.

We’d love to hear from any women who would like to join our mission. As always, too, please reach out to us anytime with questions, comments or feedback on any topic at all