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“We Need More Women in The Outdoor Industry”


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.

Girls Will be Girls | kari traa

“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.

Girls Will be Girls | kari traa

Lack of female role models

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.

Girls Will be Girls | kari traa

Gender roles still exist

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.

Girls Will be Girls | kari traa

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.”

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