As a female white water rafting guide in a mostly male-dominated industry, it’s unfortunately far too common that Nina Waters finds herself underminded, disrespected and not taken seriously – even though she’s an expert in her sport.
“A male counterpart can sometimes question your ability to handle a situation. There have also been times in which I have been the leader of a trip and a client will not refer a question to me, but rather to my male co-worker,” she says.
Nina believes women have a lot to bring to the table, and this might get overlooked by men.
“We have a sense of nurturing care; it comes inherently natural to women and it should be more valued in the outdoor industry,” she adds.
According to Nina, one reason we don´t see more women in the outdoor industry is because we lack female role models.
“I think that a lot of girls don’t see themselves in those roles because they don’t see women in those roles,” she explains.
The Summit County, Colorado-based white-water guide believes girls still are being held back by old-fashioned gender roles.
“Those gender roles still exist. That girls should enjoy traditional girl things: dolls and you know, make up,” she says.
Nina thinks it´s important for girls to see themselves in these positions.
“Because if they do, it will give them the courage to and that inkling that; oh if she can do it, maybe I can.”