Essilor is striving for a future where everyone sees the world clearly, feels included and diversity is actively championed, as affirmed by the Group’s recent inclusion in Financial Times’ global Diversity Leaders ranking. This is why Essilor and the Vision Impact Institute firmly support #glasses4women, a movement to highlight the critical role good vision plays in creating a more balanced world for women.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 56 percent of the world’s blind and 55 percent of the people with vision impairment are women. Yet one of the most critical gender imbalances exists in the social stigma attached to wearing eyeglasses. The concept of a woman’s beauty has been so deeply ingrained in some societies that women who wear spectacles are often considered unattractive. As a result, young women are waiting too long to correct their vision and it can have serious consequences.
Vision through the gender lens
Recent reports aired by Japan’s Nippon TV and Business Insider Japan revealed that women in Japan working in a number of industries have been instructed by the companies in which they work to refrain from wearing eyeglasses on the job. The same rules do not apply to their male counterparts. Reasons given for the policy range from appearance to safety. This issue is not only happening in Japan but in several other countries across the globe. In South Korea, a female news anchor wore eyeglasses on air for the very first time in 2018, in the history of all live news programs on Korea’s three major broadcasting channels.This bold action challenged stigmas surrounding spectacle wear for women. A study in rural India shows that some people refused to wear spectacles, as they are deemed cosmetically unacceptable. This has led to a fear of rejection from the opposite sex as well as teasing from colleagues.
Users voice their thoughts online
A series of hashtags including #glasses4women have been trending on Twitter since early November. In line with the Vision Impact Institute, Essilor applauds the thousands of social media users and traditional media outlets that have spoken out against this decision and are continuing to do so.
Watch this video to learn more about this campaign. Everyone is encouraged to spread the word online with the hashtag #glasses4women.
Diversity is a key value for the Essilor group. This is why Essilor has a number of initiatives dedicated to gender diversity and empowering women to contribute at the highest levels. In support of this, Essilor sponsored the sixth edition of EVE Asia-Pacific in Singapore to inspire women and enlighten men to drive change in their organizations.