Female optometrists and the race for equality

30 April 2020
Spring 2020

Women outnumber men in optometry – but do they reach the senior positions and salary levels they deserve? Jo Waters reports.

Women now make up 57.9% of optometrists (COptom, 2016) and 68% of optometry undergraduates (Powell, 2018). The future of the profession, it seems, is female.

“Optometry is an increasingly popular career choice for female undergraduates – it’s perhaps not quite as antisocial as other healthcare professions such as nursing or medicine, while still offering opportunities for flexible working,” says Sarah Canning MCOptom, Consultant Optometrist and Head of Optometry at Moorfields Hospital.

But does strength of numbers equate to higher numbers of women in senior positions and equal pay? Or is there still a glass ceiling that keeps most female optometrists in lower-paying jobs? 

Sign in to continue

Forgotten password?

Not already a member of The College?

Start enjoying the benefits of College membership today. Take a look at what the College can offer you and view our membership categories and rates.

Related further reading

Following the announcement by the Secretary for Health that the isolation period for people who test positive for COVID-19 will be cut to five full days in England, NHSE has confirmed this will apply in primary care settings.

UKHSA confirms that changes to the self-isolation period following Covid exposure applies to healthcare workers

The College issues advice following the Prime Minister's announced that the UK would return to COVID Alert Level 4.