By April Jasper, OD, FAAO
From the moment that Women In Optometry was launched, its mission has been to provide women ODs a platform to share their views, their challenges, their strategies for success and their perspective on issues affect their practices and their lives. WO recognized that women’s voices were under-represented in the optometric community, despite the fact that the percentage of women in practice was growing.
Having a platform for women ODs would ultimately result in advancements for women, individually and as a group. I’m an example of that. I’ve been offered a new opportunity, which means that I’m resigning the position of professional co-editor of Women In Optometry. It’s difficult to leave behind the WO mission and community because I support it so completely.
In my years as professional co-editor, I’ve witnessed the community grow in numbers and strength. I’ve seen women who have been featured gain exposure in their communities, among their colleagues, as lecturers and as key opinion leaders. I’ve seen the way that stories inspire others to bring new services or products into their practices or add new strategies to add balance to their professional careers.
Working with the editors and being a regular part of and contributor to Women In Optometry has been such a joy. I have appreciated the opportunity to learn more, help more and have a bigger voice for my colleagues. In clinical matters, I firmly believe that there is no difference in the way male and female ODs approach their patients. We all benefit from the advances of technology, education and research that drive this profession forward. But WO is creating a way to move women into the spotlight—not to displace their male colleagues but to stand rightfully next to them in representative numbers.
New adventures are bittersweet when they involve leaving behind something you’ve nurtured. I will continue to be an avid reader of WO, and I look forward to watching WO continue to use this platform to lead women ODs into accomplishing their dreams.