Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Task Force

Mission Statement

As the industry that gives the world sight, we cannot be blind to the prejudices that minorities regularly confront. The Vision Council’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion task force is committed to working with all segments of the vision industry to amplify and embrace everyone’s voices. In order to push forward a more equitable agenda for the eyewear and eyecare industry and to build a more diverse and inclusive community, The Vision Council is focused on creating opportunities for more courageous and impactful engagements within the communities we serve.

2020 Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Survey Report

In April 2021, The Vision Council released the 2020 Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Survey Report. The report provides an in-depth analysis of the custom survey The Vision Council fielded to the vision care community in November 2020. 

The comprehensive report is available to download here along with several industry segment-specific reports highlighting data from different industry segments.


The confidential survey, developed in partnership with Nonprofit HR, one of the leading full-service human resources firms focused exclusively on the nonprofit sector with expertise in DEI consulting, was designed to benchmark the vision care leadership landscape in order to help organizations within the industry identify opportunities they have to promote diversity, cultivate talent and improve their performance. 

The survey was open to all members of the vision care products and services industry and was fielded from November 9-24, 2020. The survey received 1527 usable responses, all U.S.-based.

The industry segment breakdown of the 1,527 respondents includes:

  • Independent Eyecare and Retail: 37 percent
  • Academia: 20 percent
  • Supplier and Manufacturer: 19 percent
  • Corporate Eyecare and Retail: 16 percent
  • Industry group or other (includes buying groups, trade media, nonprofit organizations): 8 percent

The Vision Council’s main goals in commissioning the survey included: to assess diversity, inclusion, and career perceptions within the optical industry; to understand if certain populations were experiencing the industry differently; and to obtain feedback on how The Vision Council and other network organizations can provide support in this area.

The Vision Council’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Task Force is using the survey results to prioritize key areas for change; identify potential policy and culture shift; set impact measurements; and identify additional resources for the industry. The Task Force’s next steps and recommendations will be shared in the coming months.

For additional information regarding The Vision Council’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Industry Task Force, please contact Ashley Mills, CEO of The Vision Council.

The Vision Council's Scholarship Fund

The Vision Council's Scholarship Fund is a new program of the Better Vision Institute, the charitable supporting organization of The Vision Council. The program is designed to support high school students in marginalized communities throughout the United States who have an interest in pursuing a career in the optical industry. The program will support selected students through monetary scholarships to opticianry school, paid internships and mentorships. The intent of the program is to launch a far-reaching effort that can expand to other segments of the industry.

As of January 29, 2021, more than $150,000 has been raised for the scholarship program.

To Donate

To contribute to the scholarship program directly, click here.

Please contact Ashley Mills, CEO of The Vision Council, with any questions.

Virtual Auction

To kick off the scholarship program, The Vision Council hosted a virtual auction. Featuring exceptional items donated by The Vision Council’s members, the auction ran from January 20 at 9 a.m. EST until Wednesday, January 27 at 6:30 p.m. EST and raised $19,821 for the scholarship program.