Press Release

October 22, 2021

Winning with Women: Southern Orthodontic Partners Recognizes the Influence of Outstanding Female Partners

NASHVILLE–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Southern Orthodontic Partners has had the pleasure of welcoming four new female partners over the last four months, beginning in June 2021 with Dr. Diana Almy of Fredericksburg Orthodontics (Fredericksburg, VA). Most recently, Dr. Mary Kay Becher & Dr. Avery Gil of Mary Kay Becher Orthodontics (Austin, TX) joined SOP – representing the first practice of the platform with exclusively female doctors. Earlier this fall, SOP partnered with Dr. Becky Schreiner of Alizadeh & Schreiner Orthodontics (Chesterfield, MO), who will introduce new perspective to SOP doctor leadership, serving as the first female Board Doctor.

These women represent a unique group of female orthodontists, among the first generation of females that are more widely accepted by the industry. “The whole scope of the profession is changing,” shares Dr. Becher. “The balance of work, life and family is changing – it’s much more accepting.”

Although our female partners face differing challenges in the profession, they pride themselves on applying specialized solutions that exercise their inherent leadership style. Dr. Almy describes, “As a woman, we naturally have a nurturing and empathetic leadership style. Dominance is sometimes perceived differently.”

“I’ve learned to make decisions quickly. As women, we tend to overanalyze. I think it’s best to keep moving forward. You can always refine and pivot. If you stall or are stagnant, that can have worse consequences,” comments Dr. Schreiner. “As a female leader, it’s really important that I’m consistent with how I treat my co-workers and teammates. I also learned early in my career it is important to be respected, even more so than to be well liked.”

Each year, the profession is evolving, with a greater percentage of women attending dental school and orthodontic programs. These women serve as role models for the next generation of female orthodontists, entering a pivotal time in an industry that will continue to advance. “My biggest advice to the generation ahead is that you have to find a path that works for you. Because we do balance so many things as females in the profession, you have to forge your own path… You might fail. But through those failures, that’s when our biggest growth happens. Just because it’s not how the last generation has done something, doesn’t mean it is right for your situation,” includes Dr. Becher.

Dr. Gil elaborates, “Although it is tempting to think of all the challenges we face because we are women, we must focus our energy on the opportunities and advantages that come with being a female in this industry. If you tap into your compassion and empathy, not only will you connect to parents and patients with ease, but also your team members.”

In addition to leadership and clinical expertise, each doctor possesses savvy business acumen, leading their practices to achieve impressive growth and profitability. With this experience, our female partners will serve a meaningful role in developing SOP’s future goals, leadership style, and overall mission. They will also continue to open the dialogue around challenges specific to females and how SOP can best support our partners to achieve satisfaction and success both personally and professionally.

“I am proud that these strong business leaders chose to partner with SOP,” expresses Emily Leonard, Chief People Officer of SOP. “Their mentorship and influence will be extremely impactful on future women joining our platform. We want women – both doctors and non-doctors – to know how strongly we support their development across the organization.”

Dr. Almy credits her female leadership inspiration to Sheryl Sandberg, author of Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead, a book presenting a conversation around women in the workplace and helping women achieve their ambitions. Dr. Becher shared her admiration for Jennifer Doudna, an American biochemist and Noble Peace Prize Winner. “She did many things I think are amazing. For her accomplishments, she shared credit with both her team and competitors – and she recognized it was the competitiveness that allowed her to achieve those things.”

Our doctors recognize the honor they have to serve their outstanding patients and explained their passion for impacting local communities. “I come to work to be the best person I can be and we make beautiful smiles for our patients every day….It’s a gift,” explains Dr. Becher.

“One of the things that I recognize about being an orthodontist is that I get to influence lives daily. The most important thing that I can do is to help someone improve themselves. It’s the responsibility we carry every day,” adds Dr. Schreiner.

Southern Orthodontic Partners is excited to continue to amplify female voices in the orthodontic profession through partnerships with resilient female leaders.

Read the full release on Business Wire.