Women ODs: Work Life Balance

Diana Mae Monea, OD, FAAO discusses women ODs and her advice for work life balance.

Cara Moore: Hi everybody. Thanks so much for joining us here on Optometry TV. I’m Cara Moore joined now by Dr. Diana Mae Monea, thanks so much for being here.

Dr. Diana Ma Monea: You’re welcome Cara.

Cara Moore: You get the award for best dressed.

Dr. Diana Ma Monea: Well, thank you. Well maybe out there, would be better.

Cara Moore: Oh, I love it. The feathers are great. You are here to talk about women in optometry. And things have changed a lot. It used to be, women used to be the minority in this field quite awhile ago.

Dr. Diana Ma Monea: That’s correct. So Cara it’s probably in many fields, particularly in healthcare. There are more and more women all the time, more and more women, more and more different sets of circumstances that we need to deal with.

Cara Moore: And it used to be what, I think you were giving me some statistics when we spoke off camera. When you started, it was roughly what?

Dr. Diana Ma Monea: About 4% or 5% women. And now we have over 80% women in optometry, in many schools. So that’s a big change in terms of dynamics and concerns in things like succession. What do we do with practices? Will it be independent practices as there have been in the past or will it be corporate optometry where women work for themselves? Or will they work for others?

Cara Moore: Because women have different challenges now. More unique challenges now than they did several years ago. So that might play into succession a little bit, right?

Dr. Diana Ma Monea: You’re right. You know, women do have more challenges than men. I can say, Oh, you know, we feel guilty for not spending time with our children. We feel guilty if our children aren’t perfect. And yet at the same time we spend a lot of money and time in our career and because optometry, as in any healthcare, changes so dynamically and quickly, how do we keep up with it all? How do we have it all and have any life?

Cara Moore: And, and that leads into that work life balance. I think that women, not only in an optometry but in all fields really struggle with. Right.

Dr. Diana Ma Monea: I think you’re right, and having been in the profession for over 40 years, and have other friends who are in a variety of different professions, a work life balance I think we should throw it out and I think we should call it a work life imbalance. And that is whatever rises to the top, at that moment, and in the order of priority and emergency becomes the work life top priority.

Cara Moore: And you have some key questions that you think a practitioners or maybe female optometrists should really be asking themselves, right? Like things like what really matters or what is success, things like that.

Dr. Diana Ma Monea: Yeah. So I think that is a constant battle that I see among all women professionally. How do I rate my time in the corporation or in my business, against the needs of my family? How do I put it in perspective and maintain some type of sanity? So I really have to say this, having been there, done it, and still doing it in some sense or the other with my kids growing up. I have to say this, always when there’s a doubt, put family first.

Cara Moore: Is that your advice for women in this field?

Dr. Diana Ma Monea: It is. It is. Because at the end of the day, the most important thing for any mother or any parent is to see your kids happy and well taken care of. Nothing else matters.

Cara Moore: That’s the takeaway.

Dr. Diana Ma Monea: That’s what I would say.

Cara Moore: Okay. Very good. Thank you so much for being here.

Dr. Diana Ma Monea: You’re very welcome, thank you.

Cara Moore: I appreciate it. And thank you all for joining us here on Optometry TV.

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