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Author Topic: Why not more women in ham radio?  (Read 308925 times)
NV9L
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Posts: 8




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« Reply #105 on: August 13, 2013, 12:51:32 PM »

I know a lot of women who have their ticket but never get on the air. When I asked why, I was told that it's because some of them were afraid someone's going to ask them something technical. I've constantly tried to get my friends into this hobby, but to no avail. When you're at the technician level most communicate via local VHF repeaters. The typical conversation on most repeaters consists of radios & antennas, physical ailments (the Gout net), or some other typically male oriented subject (cars, trains, computers etc).

Up here they started a once a week YL only net. They talk about broader (no pun intended) non-technical subjects; like movies. I think if you can keep them active at the tech level you will be able to get them to move up in class. Where (in my opinion) the real fun is at!

But things they are a changin ~
1-2 years ago when I was in a contest, I swear I was one of the only YL's out there. But now I hear YL's all the time in a typical contest.

Valerie ~ NV9L
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AJ4SN
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Posts: 26




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« Reply #106 on: August 13, 2013, 02:00:42 PM »

I'm not sure what the reason is, but the phenomenon is not restricted to ham radio. Nearly two-thirds of the students enrolled in college today are women, yet the number who major in math, physics, chemistry, computer science, and engineering is very low. However, there are actually more women than men in the life sciences (biology, health, etc.) and in the social sciences.
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K0IZ
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Posts: 742




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« Reply #107 on: August 17, 2013, 03:34:32 PM »

Eight pages of comments.  Wow.

There is a Dilbert cartoon out there on youtube about poor Dilbert going to be an Engineer.  As an engineer myself, I would have to say that many (most?) engineers and computer programmers are rather nerdy.  Probably how we are wired.  Better with tech things than people.  Dress code can be rather vintage.  I think some of the expressions used in ham radio are retro 1950's:  XYL, YL, Little Lady, Hi Hi.  Time for some of us to get out and about and update.
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K1CJS
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Posts: 6061




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« Reply #108 on: August 18, 2013, 05:24:32 AM »

Just an observation, but in these times it just seems that more women are drawn to the professions where they can help and or interact with people.  Men are shying away from those professions.  For one thing, that's why you see more and more women doctors.  Men, on the other hand, are drawn into the professions where they work more with things and concepts, and for the most part don't have extended interaction with people. 

Ham radio, while not a 'profession' per se, is primarily in the category of things more than people even though people are involved.  Maybe that's why there are so many of the "Five, nine.  73!" type contacts now and fewer of the extended ragchews (except for the older men talking about their personal problems!) that some of us lament.

Of course, there are exceptions--on both sides.  That's just the way it seems to me around my area of the country.  73! 
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JA1ML
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Posts: 22




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« Reply #109 on: August 20, 2013, 05:02:47 PM »

Many women are not informed about radio, so they need an introduction and a mentor to push them along.
73
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KZ3JFY
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Posts: 1




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« Reply #110 on: August 30, 2013, 10:21:06 AM »

I love being a ham! I joined a club and immediately became involved on the club's repeater and yahoo group. However, a club member recently sent out an email that he has been questioning how the YLs can be more proficient. Now I know why the other YLs in our club are rarely heard on the air. I hear more mistakes by OMs than YLs, so I don't get it; single out us YLs as opposed to addressing everyone, since everyone needs to improve regardless of whether they are an OM or YL. I think more of us YLs would be actively rag-chewing if they didn't get that kind of reception.

Allison
KZ3JFY
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KB4XV
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Posts: 29




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« Reply #111 on: September 08, 2013, 09:16:08 PM »

I got my novice in 1981. That night I sent out my first CQ on 40 meters. The response was from a lady in Texas. We had a nice talk and I told her she was my first contact. She said she was going to note in her log book that she was my first contact. I thought it was neat that it was a lady as there were not many on the air back then. I have since lost my log book and will never know who she was.
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N3ZJ
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Posts: 17




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« Reply #112 on: September 13, 2013, 01:29:15 PM »


My Elmer was a female: Ruth, WA4FEY, who encouraged me many years ago (1965!). I am eternally grateful. Also, another interesting counter-example: W3CUL.
http://hamgallery.com/qsl/country/USA/Pennsylvania/w3cul.htm
Be careful in your judgements and generalizations.

JIm N3ZJ

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KC9YTJ
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Posts: 89




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« Reply #113 on: September 13, 2013, 01:54:56 PM »

The person who encouraged me to get my ticket was Bobbi, W9KIZ.  And she'll always know more about radio than I ever will.
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K2GWK
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Posts: 534


WWW

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« Reply #114 on: October 28, 2013, 12:14:56 PM »

Ladies (and gentlemen), to experience real amateur radio learn code and work CW. You will avoid all that you don't like about amateur radio and get to experience radio communication in its most pure form.

Rant On

Alright, here comes the crap. This is a great example of how women may be put off, or for that matter any ham that chooses not to use CW. Insinuating that only "real" hams use CW is stupidity in it's purest form. When will they ever learn. Making a statement like this does not make you a "Real" ham, it makes you a "Real" moron.

Rant Off
« Last Edit: October 28, 2013, 12:26:20 PM by K2GWK » Logged

Guy
Lawn Guyland, New York

K2GWK Website
W9KEY
Member

Posts: 1165




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« Reply #115 on: November 01, 2013, 08:31:56 PM »

i think his point was that with CW you don't hear a person's gender or accent and it is a mode that does not lend itself to the kind of rants and condescension that voice is more prone to.  it is also a great way to experience the history of our hobby.

i suppose he could have meant you are not a real ham if you don't do CW, but that is not how I took it. 

i do though get a kick out of the saying that if you don't know morse code, you don't know dit  Wink

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K1CJS
Member

Posts: 6061




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« Reply #116 on: November 02, 2013, 05:58:09 AM »

Ladies (and gentlemen), to experience real amateur radio learn code and work CW. You will avoid all that you don't like about amateur radio and get to experience radio communication in its most pure form.

Rant On

Alright, here comes the crap. This is a great example of how women may be put off, or for that matter any ham that chooses not to use CW. Insinuating that only "real" hams use CW is stupidity in it's purest form. When will they ever learn. Making a statement like this does not make you a "Real" ham, it makes you a "Real" moron.

Rant Off

Well I didn't see it the way the last poster ('AIM) did at all.  I saw this just the way 'GWK did.
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N5XO
Member

Posts: 104




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« Reply #117 on: November 10, 2013, 03:25:38 PM »

One of the discouraging things in the ham world is that more women just don't seem interested in getting into the hobby. My buddy convinced his 70-yo mother to get her ticket after the Chino quake disrupted cell phone service, but to this day, I haven't been able to convince my 65-yo aunt to do likewise, despite the fact that she lives in a retirement community in AZ where there's no shortage of hams to talk to. Likewise my nextdoor neighbor's county building inspector---who is very enthusiastic about studying for his Tech, but he hasn't garnered much interest from his wife and daughter when he suggested it would be a good way for them to keep in touch while the daughter is at college out of town.

Is it just the stereotyped image of the ham of yesteryear, with a shack full of rigs and wires everywhere, which has been turning off women to joining the hobby? If so, we need to work on changing it. Ham radio is a handy hobby to have when other methods of communication let us down.

73, Marty

or maybe local clubs should look to who they cater too? Our local Simplex Club the Unusual Suspects {www.wx5us.us} has had not only amazing luck with women joining the group, but we have had a good number of spouses, girl friends and daughters attend our activities and enjoy themselves so much they have gone out and gotten a ham license themselves. Several have been married for a decade or more to husbands who are Hams and never had a single bit of interest in the radio's. They joined in for one reason or another some of our meetings, group activities, etc and in the last three years we have had 8 Spouses/girlfriends and one 15 year old daughter, not only join the group but tested and gotten a license. They are not only now HAMS but active in club events, and on the air activity.

In fact we have even had the ladies in our group start up a Ladies only Net on our local repeater called Girl Talk every Thursday evening at 7:pm on 443.025 + PL 82.5.

I think what Sets us apart is our activities are not "good ol boy events" but family aimed and about enjoying the hobby and this attracts the attention of all genders and age groups.

So the question is not why are women interested, it's why are clubs doing more to generate an interest.
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