Since 2014, Össur has been working on a Women’s Leadership Initiative (ÖWLI). The aim of the initiative is to encourage greater diversity and inclusiveness in the Orthotic and Prosthetic (O&P) industry. The program is intended to support O&P practitioners by providing a forum that encourages interaction, community-building and educational opportunities that serve the needs of the growing number of women in the field.
Currently, the initiative is focused on the US market, Össur‘s largest market. Women currently comprise about 20% of all O&P professionals in the US. This number has more than doubled over the past decade, and women now comprise more than half of all students enrolled in graduate-level O&P programs.
- Engage inclusively with both men and women to provide development support to female practitioners
- Bring awareness to gender biases in the workplace and practices that promote diversity
- Create a forum for female practitioners to network and provide support to one another
- Establish a greater number of female role models for future practitioners
- Create a positive and balanced perception of both male and female industry leaders
Össur has hosted 3 conferences since the initiative started, all well attended and well received by the industry. Last year the ÖWLI initiative reached out to the Canadian O&P industry. The 2019 conference will be in Chicago offering both American education credits as well as Canadian. In addition to the annual conference there are various activities during the year, such as regular blogs and educational webinars.