No doubt, women's issues have been in the forefront of the news in recent months. From marches to movements, women's concerns are garnering more attention in the media, classrooms, boardrooms and even examining rooms across the nation.

In many ways, it looks like 2018 is shaping up to be "the year of the woman" — and the field of dentistry is no exception. In fact, dental schools worldwide are graduating more female dentists than ever before.

According to the American Dental Association Health Policy Institute, only about 15 percent of dental school graduates were women in the 1970s. And in the 1960s? Only 1 percent! Today, just about half of the graduating classes at most U.S. dental schools are made up of women.

March is National Women's History Month, making it the ideal time for the American Dental Association to announce that this year's annual meeting (ADA 2018) will include a special focus on women.

ADA 2018 is going to be held Oct. 18-22 in beautiful Honolulu, Hawaii (the average high temperature in October in Honolulu is 85 degrees — just sayin'). The annual dental gathering focuses on industry innovation and education for dental professionals, and it offers plenty of networking opportunities.

This year's agenda will feature an exciting "Women in Dentistry Leadership" series that is unique to this year's conference. Three keynote addresses will be delivered by nationally known thought leaders and will touch on topics like achievement, success and education:

Tasha Eurich, an organizational psychologist, will present "Self Awareness: A Path to Success in Your Practice and Life," which will focus on confidence and effective leadership for women in leadership positions in their careers.

Kindra Hall, a columnist at, will speak on "It's OK to Celebrate Your Accomplishments." Her presentation will help participants craft a portfolio of their achievements.

Michelle Poler, a TEDx speaker and researcher, will present "Fear Less, Do More," inspiring her listeners to get out of their comfort zones to tap into their full potential in their careers and in their lives outside of work, too.

Another fun course on deck at this year's meeting is called "Martinis and Menopause: Implications for Women's Health" and will be presented by Kelli Jaecks, past president of the American Dental Hygienists Association. Additionally, two of the speakers chosen for the popular New and Emerging Speaker Series are women.

Dental professionals, you still have time to catch the early-bird discounts and sign up for some of the above-mentioned sessions at ADA 2018 before they are booked to capacity.