Reaching for the Stars

By Mary Kane: Executive Editor

A recent report on “CBS News Sunday Morning” titled “It’s a Man’s World?” claims that there are currently more women employed in the workforce than men. The piece went on to say that more than 50 percent of all masters and doctorate degrees are held by women.

These numbers, though somewhat surprising, indicate that women are more than holding their own in the marketplace. As I see it, the optical industry is a microcosm of the business world at large, touching on similar facets: sales, marketing, R&D, consumer and B-to-B commerce.

Which brings me to this month’s Cover Story. This is the 6th year I’ve worked on this special feature (next year marks our 10th Edition of Influential Women in Optical) and I am always struck by the diversity, strength and sheer determination of the women we profile year after year.

It is always a pleasure, and sometimes an eye-opener, to work on this Special Report. Speaking with women from the vision care, retail and supplier sides of the business has given me quite an overview of the optical business. After editing literally hundreds of these “success stories” over the years, several key themes emerge:

Women opticians and optometrists are partial to the profession due to the flexibility it affords in making a work schedule which still allows them time to balance family/life responsibilities. Possibilities to grow in one’s career are limitless and although some women spend an entire career with one company, variety is decidedly the spice of many women’s working lives. Finally, the concept of community service and “giving back” seems more prevalent.

Many of our honorees this year are stars in their own right. The lead of our cover story says it all: Conscientious. Dedicated. Passionate. Innovative. Turn to Page 33…you’re in for a treat.