View an Alphabetical List of Honorees from 2003 to 2012

NEW YORK—The optical industry, with its singular mix of fashion, technology and medicine, offers a multitude of career choices rivaled by few other fields. From board room to exam room to back office, the list of optical jobs is almost limitless.

Within this diverse spectrum, women occupy many positions of influence, often playing pivotal roles that shape the character of the companies and organizations in which they work. A select number of them, recognized and respected by colleagues and customers alike, comprise VM’s 2012 roster of Influential Women.

In the 10 years since VM inaugurated its annual Influential Women report, the roles of women in optical have evolved along with the industry itself. More women are entering the field of optometry today than ever before. A greater number of women now occupy upper management positions. Some are working in jobs that didn’t exist a decade ago, such as social media strategists.

On a broader level, consumers’ changing perception of eyewear as more of a fashion accessory and less of a medical device has allowed women who design, dispense, buy and sell eyewear to capitalize on their sense of style.

In this context we view our Influential Women—who are chosen from a large pool of nominees named by VM readers—and profile their accomplishments in the following roles:

  • Executive Suite: Women who hold positions such as president, VP, CEO, CFO, CMO, CIO or COO and who guide their companies forward, inspire leadership among their teams and peers and achieve high performance.
  • Rising Stars: Women who are “up-and-comers” in their careers and within their companies or arenas within the industry; sharp talents who are on their way toward higher levels of responsibility and influence.
  • Mentors: Women who are team builders, developers of talent, who via example or education and training successfully influence others to learn and to grow in their business or professional acumen.
  • Innovators: Women who have initiated new product developments or special programs in the arena of marketing, technology or retail, who have spearheaded innovative business ideas or enterprises.

As you read these profiles, we hope you’ll learn something about each of these remarkable women and appreciate why they’ve earned a spot on our honor roll. They join a distinguished group of more than 400 Influential Women whom we’ve profiled since 2003.

Please visit to review an alphabetical listing of past years’ honorees and to read prior years’ Special Reports.

–The Editors

View Optical XXcellence pdf