It is International Woman’s day today. My mum, ever the advocate for equality between the sexes, has been part of a big event where they run a all day radio program discussing a wide range of subjects to do with being a woman today. The end of one discussion I caught was about being a woman in science and tech. I was interested to hear the speaker talking about working in a male dominated workplace. It made me realise that I hadn’t considered my gender in the workplace for many years. When I started my wildlife career 25 years ago, it was certainly a very male dominated field but not anymore. In fact, there are possibly more woman than men in large carnivore conservation today.
When it comes to leaders of big lion conservation projects, men could be forgiven in feeling outnumbered. Woman’s day gives me the excuse to talk about the Pride Lion Conservation Alliance, of which I am a proud member. We started Pride because, as a group of good friends/colleagues, we felt that we could do so much more for lions if we worked together. Tired of fighting for every pot of donor money, and protecting knowhow and territories, we decided that lions needed a united front. We decided this as leaders of lion conservation projects, and only later recognised that we also happened to all be women. Creating a true alliance might have been difficult but instead it has been energising. Rather than individual projects all striving to do our best to save lions, we are now part of something much bigger, more effective, and more hopeful. And yes, I do wonder how much the nature and strength of Pride is to do with the fact the founders are all women. Just a thought, just for today.
Read more about Pride at www.pridelionalliance.org