As optical technologies become increasingly important to a variety of industries, the demand for optical engineers, researchers, and technicians continues to grow. Workforce shortages are raising salaries and threatening to slow the growth of exploding markets. Although the slowdown of the telecom industry has reduced the pressure in the near term, optical technologies are as critical today as they were two years ago and the demand for trained workforce will continue to grow. Statistics in the U.S. indicate that we will fail to meet the demands of industry unless the make up of the technical workforce undergoes dramatic changes through the increased participation of segments of the population that are currently under-represented. In an effort to address this challenge, SPIE's Women in Optics (WiO) has developed a variety of programs to attract and retain women in optics- related careers.
Gloria G. Putnam,
"Attacking the workforce shortage one woman at a time", Proc. SPIE 4588, Seventh International Conference on Education and Training in Optics and Photonics, (28 May 2002); doi: 10.1117/12.468691; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.468691