Gender Trends

In the Fall of 2015, the American Board of Optometry conducted a job task analysis (also known as a practice analysis), which is the basis for development of a content-valid certification examination. In accordance with best practices, the American Board of Optometry conducts a new JTA every 5 years to ensure that the content of its certification examination is current and relevant to the profession.

It has been interesting to compare the results of this recent JTA to the JTA that was conducted in 2010. The comparison provides a snapshot of the evolution of optometry over the past 5 years, and we’d like to share some of these changes with our diplomates in this newsletter and in future editions.New Gender Chart

A major trend in the healthcare profession is gender shift, and optometry is no exception. In 2010, 62.5% of the survey responders were male and 37.5% were female. That distribution changed significantly over 5 years; in 2015, only 55% of the survey responders were male and 45% were female. When the gender distribution is analyzed as a function of the age of the respondents, the gender shift is even more striking.

About 2/3 of students currently enrolled in optometry school are female, so we expect the gender shift trend to continue.