In 2012, there were 9,966 women-owned ODs offices, according to the U.S. Census Bureau data, compared to 20,217 male-owned optometric offices. In addition, there were 2,473 offices equally owned by men and women. In other words, 30 percent of the optometric offices were owned by women and 62 percent were owned by men, with the remainder being equally owned by men and women. The 2015 American Optometric Association Survey of Optometric Practices showed similar numbers and noted that 55 percent of nonowner ODs were women; among young ODs, 67 percent of the nonowner ODs were women.
Yet the number of women-owned businesses is increasing rapidly in most sectors. Between 2007 and 2016, the overall number of women-owned firms increased by 45 percent, compared to just a 9 percent increase among all businesses, according to American Express’ 2016 State of Women-owned Businesses Report.
Women In Optometry spoke with three ODs about the motivation that pushed them to open their own practices.
Read their stories by clicking on their photos below.