Nearing the Tipping Point?
One of the questions that Women
(WO) is asked
occasionally—sometimes tongue in
cheek, but just as often seriously—is
when the magazine will have outlived
its purpose. After all, women
have been the majority of graduates
from optometry schools for a number of years. Doesn’t that mean
there’s some sort of parity already?
The classroom includes a very small number compared to the
universe of practicing ODs in North America. And looking at those
larger numbers, the profession is just beginning to see the tipping
point in Maryland. The statistics are changing, and they might even
be changing faster than once predicted. But there are a number of
factors involved. It could be that older ODs (mostly men) are deciding
to hang up their white coats a little earlier. They may not want to
make the investments in technology or work in an environment moving
more toward managed vision insurance.
It seems quite certain that the trend will continue. But it’s also
possible that women may never achieve the two-thirds majority in
the workplace that they’ve reached in optometry schools. It’s possible
that there will be sectors within the profession that draw more
women and others that draw fewer.
We’re not making predictions. But we do appreciate the story as
it unfolds. WO is now starting its eighth year of publication. So it
seems an apt time to thank our readers for their feedback, for the
stories they have shared with us and for taking the time to point out
women who have influenced or impressed them. As long as WO has
compelling stories to tell, the publication still has a purpose.
Marjolijn Bijlefeld, Director of Custom Publications
Practice Advancement Associates