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What The OWA Brings To The Table

Various things OWA does

Since 1997, the OWA has set the standard in the optical industry by intentionally connecting, inspiring, and leading women in their professional and personal development. With a mindset of inclusion and acceptance, the OWA actively welcomes all women in optical to become members and to take part in the creation of, and participation in, our resources, events, and programs. We invite members to openly share their thoughts, opinions, and experiences. We encourage members to excel in their chosen way, and by actively welcoming and celebrating diversity and inclusion, we create space for growth and a richer experience for all.

The OWA On Social Media

Canvasing a diverse four social networks, the social media channels of the Optical Women’s Association are nearing 10,000 followers! We are very active and post multiple times per week on LinkedIn, Instagram, and Facebook, while YouTube is where we share our Food For Thought videos.

OWA Connects Blog

In 2022, the OWA launched the OWA Connects Blog as another way to share educational and inspirational articles with members and supporters. The articles are written by savvy female leaders and highlight trending topics that matter to you.(You are reading this on the OWA Connects blog right now). You do not have to be an OWA Member to subscribe to the blog, anyone can! Subscribe here…

OWA Talks Podcast

Each month brings a new guest along with insights and stories on trending topics that matter. The OWA Talks Podcast, created in 2020, is hosted by Sandra Mohr and Stephanie Espinosa. If you have not yet listed to an episode I would highly recommend it! Listen to the most recent episode on the OWA Talks Podcast homepage, or browse past episodes from 202220212020, or subscribe on these various channels: iTunes, Google Play, Buzzsprout, RSS Feed.

Food For Thought

Food for Thought was created to facilitate dialogue with our neighbors and to embrace and highlight the diversity of our OWA Members. Gathering together at the table promotes fellowship and provides a place of love and peace. Watch the videos of and get some great recipes! Read more and watch videos here…

Membership Benefits

The OWA is a diverse group and is proud to be made up of women that occupy a wide variety roles and responsibilities in the industry. The benefits of an OWA membership include but are not limited to the following:

Membership Directory

This annual directory of all of our members is available online, exclusively to our members. It’s an powerful and important resource that helps our members stay connected, and offers a tool for networking with others in the organization. Members can view the full directory or search for a member using a variety of field options. While you’re logged in, make sure to check your own profile and make sure it’s up to date!

Annual Book Selection

Each year, OWA members get to select one book from the curated book selections as part of their membership benefits. Personally, this is one of my favorite OWA member benefits each year because I get to see books that other leaders in the profession are reading and recommending. Often times one or more of the selections become part of the book group discussion called OWA Reads, where you can discuss and learn from key areas that others have gained. Check out the previous book offerings and be sure to keep an eye out for the email from the OWA announcing the 2023 selections!


The OWA hosts a variety of networking events with leading women in the optical industry that provide a forum for the exchange of ideas and information among all levels of the industry. Some events are regional, while the largest events take place in New York and Las Vegas at each Vision Expo. Take advantage of getting to know your peers in the industry! View Upcoming Events or view photos from past events….

Fast Company Magazine Subscription

All current OWA members receive a complimentary, one-year printed subscription (10-issues-per-year) to this full-color business magazine, reporting on topics including innovation, digital media, technology, change management, leadership, design and social responsibility. Fast Company is written for innovative pioneers such as yourself, who are transcending the boundaries of normal business conventions and shaping the business world. Read more…

OWA Committees

Become an OWA insider by joining a committee! Catch the spirit of volunteerism — it will pay big dividends!  Read more about each of the committees here. To express interest in a committee, update your profile and check the appropriate box(es) under Committee Interest. The 2023 OWA Committees are:

  1. Communications & Website Committee

  2. Connection & Enrichment Committee

  3. Digital Marketing Committee

  4. Events Committee

  5. Finance Committee

  6. Membership Committee

  7. Nominating Committee

  8. Professional Development Fund Committee

Industry Recognition And Awards

All members have the opportunity to be recognized and honored for making a significant impact for women in the optical industry.

  1. The OWA Awards are presented to individuals who exemplify a passion for promoting the role of women in our industry. The recipients are honored in New York City during Vision Expo East at the annual Champagne Breakfast and Star Awards Ceremony. These awards may include: Pleiades, Pyxis, Pinnacle, Visionary, Emerging Leader, and Lifetime Achievement Awards. Read more and view recipients…

  2. The Leadership Scholarship Awards provide a professional mentoring opportunity, reward those who have volunteered their time and efforts to help the OWA reach its goals, and to promote the founding principles of the organization: to connect, inspire, and lead future leaders. Read more and view recipients…

Fireside Chats

These bi-monthly events will allow members to gather, network, and grow, both personally and professionally, while also having some fun! We’re implementing feedback from our members in making these events a combination of the advisory groups, offering various topics in an open discussion format to allow for greater connection on a personal level. Fireside Chats provide an opportunity for new and experienced members to join a networking group that encompasses many interests. All OWA members are invited to join these ongoing Fireside Chats. View Upcoming Events…

One-Minute Inspiration (OMI)

One way that we accomplish on-demand mentoring is through our One-Minute Inspiration emails. These emails are delivered to OWA members twice per month and provide quick tips for professional growth and development. Read past OMI’s or learn more about contributing an OMI here…

OWA Job board

The OWA’s overall mission is to enhance and promote the leadership role of women in the optical industry, and the OWA Job Board does just that by connecting employers with potential job candidates. Members and sponsors may list open positions for free. Those who are not Members or Sponsors may also post on the OWA Job Board for a nominal fee. View jobs or learn more about posting a job here…

Sponsorship and Contributor Opportunities

  1. Contributions to our Professional Development Fund will enable us to continue to achieve our goal to deliver meaningful services to Women of the Optical Industry and Profession. This Fund will allow us to provide more events and programs and additional resources for our members to help them reach their full career potential and keep this industry strong and growing. View sponsors and read more…

  2. The Individual Contributor program provides the opportunity for ANY individual to support the OWA and its mission of enhancing and promoting the leadership role of women in the optical industry through networking, education, and peer support. Your support will directly fund the new OWA Leadership Scholarship, an award granted to a board- nominated OWA member who has shown exemplary volunteer service in helping the OWA reach its goals. View sponsors and read more…

With all of these great benefits, how could you not be a part of the OWA community! If you’re not yet a member, find out more here…

What is your favorite part of the OWA? Let us know in the comments below!

Written by: Carissa Dunphy

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