Diversity in Dentistry Action Group

About the Diversity in Dentistry Action Group

The Diversity in Dentistry Action Group (DDAG) was formed in 2020 with a view to:

  • listen and allow others to be heard
  • understand and acknowledge the presence of discriminatory problems
  • to educate others to become aware of the issues and why they require resolution
  • deliver action to help address, mitigate, prevent and reinforce positive messaging that dentistry is a healthcare career open and welcome to all

DDAG held its inaugural event on 25 November 2020, bringing together stakeholders from across the dental profession to drive the conversation on cultural and organisational approaches to racial equality and inclusion.

“It is now time to break down the barriers, using the armoury of education, understanding, empathy, proactive reaction, energy, insight and allyship. Together we are a profession, yes, but we are also individuals with a responsibility for change within our own spheres of influence and extending to wider society”

Nishma Sharma, Chair

DDAG was initially hosted by the Office of Chief Dental Officer for England (OCDO), then in 2022 moved to the College of General Dentistry, reflecting its mission to work across both NHS and private dentistry, throughout the UK and beyond, and to ensure the whole team are represented and supported.

How we work

The core ambition of DDAG is to co-create a systematic approach for practical action by working across all of our stakeholders and professional representative bodies. We have identified three strategic priorities for our collective work:

The DDAG Strategic Oversight Group (SOG) works with DDAG stakeholders to identify the best methods to evaluate the impact of activities which support these priorities. We aspire to ensure operational processes, ways of working and people management policies are dissected and improved, so as to allow our profession to reflect a culture of equality and inclusion.

Equality, diversity and inclusion within dentistry: a profession-wide commitment

In May 2021, we published a landmark report, Equality, diversity and inclusion within dentistry: a profession-wide commitment.

The report highlights significant under-representation of individuals from ethnic minority backgrounds, and of women, in leadership positions within dentistry; identifies significant disparities in the ethnic profile of dental students, professionals and clinical academics; represents an unprecedented joint commitment by over 35 dental organisations to key principles for change; and makes a number of recommendations:

  • Developing strategies for positive, sustainable change with short-term, medium-term, and long-term approaches to be implemented across the profession
  • Working collaboratively to influence policy, shape culture and transform the profession’s approach to race equality, learning from other sectors to identify opportunities for change
  • Promoting open and ongoing profession-wide conversations to support continuous improvement
  • Developing the workforce, across the dental pipeline from dental school entry, apprentice / training programmes to senior leadership, through education, role modelling and leadership development
  • Supporting research and the collection of high-quality data and lived experiences data to improve understanding of inequalities and address the barriers to a diverse and inclusive environment
  • Ensuring a profession wide commitment to zero tolerance of racism and discrimination

For further information, or to get your organisation involved, contact [email protected]

Supporting its commitment to promoting equality, diversity and inclusion, the College of General Dentistry hosts the Diversity in Dentistry Action Group (DDAG). The College is also represented on DDAG, however the two organisations operate independently