Today in our nation, female empowerment is having a
moment—and many would concur, it’s long overdue. As more social and commercial
spheres enter the conversation on gender equality, women have started to gain a
foothold in sectors that are traditionally male dominated. This includes the
areas of hobbies and careers which, in the past, have carried the residue of
gender disparity, but now are becoming more inclusive.
Based on some cultural expectations or standards,
you might tend to view women’s hobbies as cooking, dancing, knitting or
practicing yoga, while men’s hobbies are more often associated with shooting
basketball hoops, training for a Spartan Race or competing in Fortnight on
their mobile devices.
But these conventional stereotypes about male and
female interests are being confronted by women who are not afraid to pursue
activities that once were considered too “masculine” for them. Here are five
hobbies that are increasing in popularity for women—some of which can even be
turned into career opportunities.
The National Golf Association (NGA) estimates that
only 24% of golfers in the U.S. are women, but a new initiative on social media
called #InviteHER has been launched by the LPGA for the purpose of drawing more
women into this male dominated sport. Entertainment venues like Topgolf, for
instance, have made this hobby feel more accessible to women, and as a result,
the number of females interested in dusting off those nine irons and hitting
the course has risen by 29%, the NGA continues. So if you’re a woman who enjoys
athletic competition, take some golf lessons at the local practice range.
The arena of online gaming is not as male dominated as it once was anymore, as females now comprise almost half of the U.S. gamer population—45%, to be exact, based on Statista’s market research data. With this uptick in women showing an interest in online games comes an increase of females on the professional side of it too. The International Game Developers Association reports that women account for 22% of this global industry, and that has also ushered in games with female-centric narratives like Horizon Zero Dawn, for example. Another recent survey shows that women as online career gamers outpace men and more than 78% of women Fortniters are trying to turn the game into a career. If online gaming excites you, this is both a viable hobby and career option.
This is another sport which seems to recruit a
disproportionate ratio of male to female athletes, points out certified USA
Cycling coach Elizabeth Martin. In fact, she adds, in the recent National
Championships, over 100 men rode in the “under 23” division, while less than 15
women raced in that same category. However, to resist this gender imbalance and
persuade more women to become cyclists, some grassroots movements such as Women
Bike and CycloFemme have been created to build a sense of community and joint
passion among female riders. So consider joining a women cyclist MeetUp in your
The process of writing code is how computer software,
mobile apps and websites are developed, and it’s a marketable hobby that can be
leveraged in the corporate world too. Coding is useful for anyone who wants to
pursue a career as a web designer, information technologist, engineer, data
science analyst or computer programmer, but these industries are often male
dominated also. Women in tech related jobs comprise 20% of the American
workforce, reports Small Business Trends. But major companies like Intuit and Salesforce
actively hire women, and that is reassuring news if you’re female techie.
This genre of artwork has a history of gender divide in the mainstream, but numerous indie comic illustrators happen to be women. These artists challenge the depiction of female characters as hyper-sexualized or secondary to the male superheroes. In addition creating in this medium, they are ardent consumers too, as Publisher’s Weekly found that women ages 17–30 are the “fastest-growing segment of the comic market.” The Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics also determined female attendance at New York Comic-Con has increased by 62%, so if you’re inspired by Captain Marvel, this could be your niche. It’s an inspiring and dynamic time to be a woman, as our culture’s awareness of inclusion and diversity continues to expand. If your idea of accessible hobbies or careers has been limited in the past due to female stigmas, then consider this your invitation to break out of that mold and pursue one of these trending activities. Extracurriculars don’t have to be dictated by gender—so learn a new passion and feel empowered as you do.