Field notes

What It Means To Be a Woman Working in Archaeology

By: Margarita de Guzman


In honour of International Women’s Day this week, I thought I’d get a little personal here to share what it means for me to be a woman working in archaeology. I have been lucky enough not to feel discriminated against in my career due to gender. Within the places and organizations, I’ve worked, I always felt adequately rewarded and recognized for my contributions. Most of the archaeology my team does takes place in the forest. For them, understanding the landscape and having the know-how to survive in the muskeg if they had to is empowering, especially to my female crew members. My team has a skill set that most so-called city slickers do not. Any of our team members can be dropped in the middle of nowhere-northern Alberta by a helicopter and navigate their way through lands that people have not travelled across in perhaps hundreds of years, no matter their gender.

As an employer, though, I have seen firsthand how women ask for less, are less confident in their proven skillset, and have higher levels of the all too familiar imposter syndrome. I want all that s#%& to end here, which is why I appreciate having the International Women’s Day platform to talk about the issues that face my industry! So, to the women of Circle CRM and all the female archaeologists out there, you are seen, and I raise a glass to you. I see you when you go the extra mile, literally, to exceed your roles in the workplace as both leaders and archaeologists.

I wanted to hear the women on my team’s responses when asked what it means to be a woman working in archaeology. Unfortunately, I heard negatives, like putting a family on hold, having to be very aware of personal safety when working with unfamiliar men in the middle of nowhere, and the expectation of needing to know ten times as much as the man you’re working with to be recognized… However, I also heard that being a woman archaeologist means you’re strong AF and that being a woman working in the field means getting to have your dream job! Those responses make it all worth it for me.

I feel lucky to have worked with such inspirational female archaeologists in the past, and I feel equally as lucky to have such a dedicated team of female employees who continuously support and uplift one another. All these women share traits of being dependable, strong and capable. There are some great positives to working in this field that I hope to continue sharing while also tackling the prominent issues that affect women in this industry. If you want to stay in the know with what we’re up to over at Circle CRM, follow us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn or sign up for our Corporate Newsletter. And for our final words on the matter, being a woman in archaeology means you’re hard-working, fierce and that you’re never shy to stand up for what you believe in (drops mic).

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