Jan. 18, 2023
In the largest jump seen in the past 10 years since Women In Optometry (WO) has been tracking the number of ODs in practice at the start of every year, the percentage of women ODs in practice rose to 47.3 percent of the total, an increase from 45.5 percent the year before.
This penetration of women in the profession is nearly 10 percentage points higher than it was in 2012, but most years have seen an increase of about one percent or less per year. In 12 states, including Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico, more than 50 percent of the practicing ODs are women.
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Last year, the list included only 10 states or territories. New Jersey and Hawaii joined the 50 percent and higher list this year, joining Puerto Rico; Massachusetts; Washington, D.C.; California; New York; Maryland; Illinois; Texas, Delaware; and Virginia. Another five states are up over 47 percent, meaning they might see a similar shift in the next few years.