Women Who Work in Fieldsports (WWWF) was created to start a strong female network of women who work within the shooting and fishing sector. It is for women who may not shoot or fish themselves but help run shoot days, work in the office, help process game, run a game meat business, or have any other involvement with fieldsports.
I began working within shooting nearly 5 years ago and found it quite a lonely place to start with, especially when dealing with some rather difficult people. It was quite a shock when I first began to be asked if I was the Managing Director’s girlfriend and if that was why I was working at the BGA. God forbid that I actually got the job through an interview process and a third-party recruitment agency (which I did). It has taken a long time for me to get the message across that I was hired to do a job rather than because of my skills on the shooting field. Perhaps even harder has been the fact that, despite having worked within the sector for a long time, when we are doing shows my younger male colleagues are presumed to be managing me which can be beyond frustrating.
Two years ago with the support of my CEO, Liam Stokes, I started to attend Meat Business Women, Grocery Girls and Women in the Food Industry. It was fantastic to meet other women who have struggled with similar issues in their industries and was a great networking opportunity; it has done wonders for the profile of game too. I have met several of the meat buyers for the supermarkets through these events. They also provide mentoring programs as well as monthly seminars, breakfast meetings and much more!
Early last year I began to be mentored by the great Teresa Dent and soon realised how useful I was finding it to have someone who has worked within conservation and shooting as a sounding board; something I was lacking with these other organisations. After some thought I decided to setup WWWF as a way for women to support, inspire and network with each other. I threw the idea around at The Game Fair and it had a brilliant response; most importantly from Vanessa Steel and Iona Campbell from Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust, who have been integral in creating WWWF. After the show we got together and started to discuss ideas, agreeing on our first event, An In Conservation With Claire Zambuni and Alexandra Henton, which was held at the GWCT London office on 21st March. We are already in discussions for our next event to be held in Scotland and then we will head over to Wales.
It is so exciting, I have already had one woman call me who says she has been working in shooting for 20 years and she has never heard of anyone doing an initiative like this. She was worried about attending because she doesn’t actually shoot herself but I explained that there is absolutely no need to have held a gun or a rod. There have been others who believe that in 2023 we should no longer need to have to have women only events. It would be a very happy world if that was the case!
Written by Louisa Clutterbuck, Founder of Women Who Work In Fieldsports