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

Sporting Shooter - - Contents - WITH DEB­BIE COLLINS

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

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