There was probably an audible grumble, the first time a woman took a job in this industry. Regardless of whether they were excited about it or not, men have slowly, accepted the change. I venture to guess that it wasn’t a risk of being caught sexually harassing, that worried the gun guys, but the girly behavior that often seems to follow us ladies.
Allow me to explain. I’ve worked in offices under female management. I didn’t like it. One, specific situation comes to mind. It was a male dominated office with a female office manager. She managed the day to day of all the guys on the team, and she probably did a great job. Then I joined the team and became part of her management responsibilities.
At first she only seemed uncomfortable with the change, forgetting to put me on spreadsheets or include me on team emails. However, after some time, it became clear that this was more than an random accidents. She would often nit-pick my work when the guys saw no issues with it. Her criticisms, seemed to walk the line between personal and professional. She didn’t have a problem when she was the only woman in the office, but then there was two… Unfortunately, this situation is all too common when women work together. The bottom line, cattiness.
However, this industry is just a little different from the others. People don’t work in the firearms industry because it’s the only job they could find, something within them is drawn to the gun world. I’m sure I’m not the only lady who was given the warning as I considered a career in guns, “Beware of the boys-club!” But for those who were not scared away, we put on our big girl panties and headed into the cigar smoke.
Maybe we were all too focused on preparing to battle with men, maybe we’re a different breed of lady, but somewhere near the boys-club, a sisterhood has formed. Rather than being unfriendly and guarded, female firearms professionals are happy, welcoming and supportive of one another. Don’t get me wrong, these are some tough women. You wouldn’t want to surprise anyone of them in a dark alley. However, if one were having a personal or professional problem, she could count on more than one fellow gun-girl to be by her side.
Perhaps because the majority of your “gun girls” are more (or become more) self-confident. With that self-confidence comes the ability to not need the kind of catty behavior that other women rely on to find and reinforce their place in the world.
That seems like a strong possibility
I’m curious as to where you’re seeing a fear of women in the firearms industry. I’ve worked for two major firearms manufacturers. At Beretta, among other senior positions the head of Marketing and the person running our entire warehouse operation were both women as was the person who ran the entire inside sales team. At SIG, again the head of Marketing as well as important jobs throughout the sales, finance, IT, and manufacturing divisions were all women.
One need only spend a few hours at SHOT to see that there are quite a few women in influential positions throughout the industry. If someone finds herself shut out perhaps it’s a mistake to assume it’s due to her gender.
I saw some resistance 2 years ago when I started in this world, but it’s faded significantly since. SHOT 13 was a perfect example of how far things have come.
Gabby, I am a bit confused–which firearms or ammo manufacturers have you worked for where there was resistance to women or at which end-user organizations (LE, mil, competition) did you experience this discrimination?
Sorry for the confusion, but I never said that I saw resistance toward woman or discrimination from any firearms manufacturer.
My point in this post was that working with women tends to come with some issues and I wouldn’t blame guys for grumbling. But I didn’t hear any grumbling at places like SHOT13. If anything I have been surprised by the warm welcome.
Further, women in the industry seem to be cut from a different cloth and don’t seem to be the kind to grumble about anyway.
There are grumblers in every profession, male and female.
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