With more and more women getting into shooting these days, Debbie Collins looks at what BASC is doing to ensure their organisation reflects the demographic of their members
Figures released by the government-backed Hampton-Alexander Review have shown that 29% of FTSE 100 board positions are held by women – which exactly mirrors the percentage of women on BASC’s governing council. The figures, released to mark the halfway point of the four-year review, show that FTSE 100 firms were on track to reach a government-backed target of 33% of board positions going to women by 2020, although FTSE 350 companies may fall short.
The Hampton-Alexander Review aims to ensure that talented women at the top of business are recognised, promoted and rewarded and figures show that 305 positions – 29% of FTSE 100 board positions – are held by women, up from 12.5% in 2011.
With almost 30% of BASC council members being women, BASC is well on its way to reflecting the 33% target.
Five members of BASC’s 17-strong governing council are women and BASC now has more than 10,500 women members and has been catering further for the upsurge in women shooters in recent years.
Just last month, BASC began recruiting for a new Pathways to Shooting officer, whose responsibilities will include opening up our sport to women. It is an extremely positive step taken in a sport that has often been accused of being dominated by men and too slow to change.
Lawyer Claire Sadler was elected to BASC’s council at our AGM in June and is proud that we are forging ahead by ensuring better representation of women.
“We are ahead of the curve when it comes to female representation on our board,” she says, “especially given the growing diversity of the shooting community.
“It is important that the composition of our members is represented on our board. It is widely recognised globally that ladies shooting and hunting is proving to be the fastest growing demographic in the shooting and hunting industries.
“The shooting community is really embracing the growing diversity and there seems to be a significant shift away from the use of the term ‘lady Guns’ to just ‘Guns’.” The number of women taking up shooting sports is on the rise, with the latest Home Office figures showing that more than 2,000 women became certificate holders over the last two years, and that 5.87% of certificate holders overall were female. That equates to 35,367. It is fantastic to know that not only are more ladies than ever before trying shooting sports, but that they are staying part of the community and becoming certificate holders.
Bill Harriman, BASC’s long-standing director of firearms and a well-known expert on the BBC’s Antiques Roadshow programme, won’t mind me saying that he would be considered by many to be part of the traditional, old-school shooting establishment – but he takes a refreshingly forward-looking view of the influx of women into shooting.
“My own shoot has three female Guns and I would urge other shoots to extend a welcome to any woman who wants join,” he says. “Getting more women into shooting is vital for the long-term survival of shooting sports.”
There are more women getting involved in shooting than ever before, partly thanks to all-female shooting groups, such as the Purdey Ladies Course