There are many professions and accomplishments where women are tipping the patriarchal scales. Optometry is one of them. Women currently comprise of 45% of all optometrists in the nation, which we think is something to be celebrated considering women only started studying optometry in the 20th century. As you might know, the majority of currently enrolled optometry students in the US are female, so we think International Women's Day (IWD) is particularly relevant to the profession today.
IWD is a good opportunity to build up the confidence of the women in your practice, in your peer network, and in your patient base. Here are a few ways you can celebrate and the support these women:
Attend an Empowering Event
The best way to feel connected and involved, especially when you're socially distancing, is to attend virtual events with motivating speakers. An organization that we sponsor, the Optical Women's Association, is hosting a virtual event called #ChoosetoChallenge Through Connection on Wednesday, March 10, 2021 from 6:30 PM - 7:30 PM. Their keynote speaker will share her expert advice on building authority and accepting praise as a woman.
You can register here for the event.
Hear from Fellow ODs
Strengthening your community and bond with other female ODs makes everyone happier, promotes wage transparency, and creates a support system for tougher times. Start by listening to podcasts such as the Women in Optometry Voices series. One of our customers, Dr. Leslie O'Dell discusses the opportunities in medical services in this episode. We highly encourage that you discuss issues, especially gender or equal rights issues, with other ODs that you know. Sharing stories and advice is how most successful ODs continue to grow.
Speak with Your Actions
There are a few ideas on the International Women's Day website on how you can put your values in motion. Closing the gender pay gap, uplifting women's voices, and calling out bias in the workplace are a few topics you can discuss in your practice. Whether it's through a blog that you email to your staff and patients or a printed poster that you share on your social media, you can make a formal declaration about your practice's commitment to challenging the status quo. Especially if your team is mostly comprised of women, this will help spread the message that you're actively working to support those important to you.
Highlight the accomplishments and contributions that the women in your practice have made in their careers or even just this year. Encouraging your staff through words of affirmation or acts of service can insure that they know how valued they are. If you're able to, you can host a virtual happy hour in honor of IWD or have breakfast catered for all the employees who are required to show up in person.
There is always something more your practice can do. Let us inspire you through our blog.