Nature Photography: Where Are the Women?

Parental Responsibilities

Women are often mothers or primary caregivers. While it can be taxing to juggle parenting and career, solutions such as sharing responsibilities with a partner or hiring a nanny can provide emotional and logistical relief. Some women enjoy bringing their children into the field with them, depending on their chosen subject. It teaches kids about developing an appreciation for nature and conservation. It’s all about balance and finding what works for each specific family.

Competition

Nature photography is a very competitive field. There are a plethora of photographers who throw their hat into the ring and hope to get their work published. Unfortunately, there are limited opportunities available, regardless of talent, drive, and motivation.

While there is no difference in the quality of photographs taken by men and women, men tend to be more overtly competitive than women.

Don’t get us wrong. Women, once in a professional setting, are just as successful as men are. But studies, such as one by Stanford, have shown that women often “choose not to compete because of an age-old barrier – lack of confidence.”

In many ways, the lack of women in nature photography is similar to the underrepresentation of women in science and other STEM careers. Harvard studies have shown that women are 38% less likely to choose to participate in competitive arenas than men. Societal norms, and in some cases parental expectations, may also steer women away from careers in science and nature photography.

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