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The XX factor: NHS Digital stats reveal increasing proportion of female optometrists

More women than men are practising optometry in England and Wales according to the latest General Ophthalmic Services workforce data

Sight test

The proportion of female ophthalmic practitioners has increased from 48.8% of the workforce in England to 54.9% over the past 10 years.

According to the latest statistics from NHS Digital on the General Ophthalmic Services workforce, there were 7510 female practitioners in England at the end of last year and 6176 male practitioners.

The proportion of female ophthalmic practitioners also rose over the decade in Wales, from 45.5% in 2008 to 54.2% at the end of last year.

The AOP has previously delved into workforce trends through Optometrists' Futures: A survey of recruitment, retention and career aspirations of the optometric workforce.

As well as highlighting the increasing number of women in the optometry workforce, the survey revealed the rise in the number of Asian optometrists.

The survey found that the workforce values flexibility with over a quarter of respondents reporting that they work solely as locums.

Image credit: Pixabay