View a PDF of Femme-tastic!
View an alphabetical list of honorees from 2003 to 2022

For many, 2022 has been a year of change, adaptation and newness. We have clung to hope for the past two years—waiting for things to go “back to normal,” like COVID-19 never happened. As we continue to live through this pandemic, it’s become clear that normal is something that will continue to change throughout our lives—something that we will be adapting to every day, week, month and year.

Women, of course, have been adapting to change throughout history. They’ve been at the forefront of it—driving change at home, at work and in society as a whole, and this year is no different. The women we’ve profiled in our 2022 Most Influential Women in Optical report have adapted to an ever-changing world and made it their own, finding their stride and creating a better world every day. We’ve profiled business owners, mentors, young women and more who have taken a year of change as a year of opportunity.

This year marks VM’s 20th annual Most Influential Women in Optical report. Over the past two decades, we’ve met and profiled hundreds of women who have changed the face of optical for the better—this feature will honor these past nominees, too, with a trivia quiz and special quotes from women who’ve been featured in years past.

This year, the VM team received over 300 submissions of incredible women and chose 46 well-deserving honorees. These women are divided up into five categories: ABOVE & BEYOND, EXECUTIVE SUITE, RISING STARS, MENTORS and INNOVATORS.

As we’ve said for the past 20 years—we hope you enjoy meeting these 46 influential women, and reading their stories of strength, adaptation and, of course, success. We look forward to the next 20.

A Look Back at 20 Years of Success Stories

For 20 years now, VM’s signature Special Report has been saluting women who play vital roles at all levels of the eyewear and eyecare industry and throughout various professions. Over the years, we have shined a spotlight on women making significant contributions throughout various market sectors, such as retailing, wholesaling, product design, manufacturing, distribution, the eyecare professions, academia and managed care.

Back in 2003, the editors at Vision Monday put their heads together and came up with the idea of honoring women in optical who were making a difference in the industry. And so, VM’s Most Influential Women in Optical was “born.”

A lot has changed over the 20 years. In the first five years of publishing the Report, we grouped the honorees by sectors, such as Retail Executives, Suppliers and Optometry. Then in 2008, in an effort to widen the scope of women we wanted to honor, VM solicited nominations and organized the honorees in four distinct sections: Executive Suite, Mentors, Rising Stars and Innovators.

And in 2020, VM added a new category to the Report called Above & Beyond, honoring women who have led the way in giving back to the industry, their patients and their communities.

The categories and the covers of the Special Report may have changed over the years, but one thing has stayed the same—the stunning achievements and contributions made by Influential Women in Optical have remained constant and strong for 20 years and Vision Monday has been honored to tell their stories.

—Mary Kane