The working group has completed it's task and submitted a report and recommendations to the Central Council for Church Bellringers.   This website is minimally maintained as an archive and a benchmark to measure future progress.


Ringing since the 80's

I have never experienced much gender bias against me personally, but have been aware of slight gender bias in the world of ringing
and in society. Regarding heavier bells: Starting as a teenager in the early 1980's, I was encouraged to ring the 13cwt tenor right from the start, and have always enjoyed the feel of a heavier bell; also the satisfaction of striking it well in changes which requires thinking several blows ahead and not wasting more effort than you need. During my ringing career I have had to ask to ring further round at times, eg having a go on a tenor when visiting, and have always been allowed to do so. But you only have to look round many towers and placed bands to see the 'women at the front' expectation, and I do get placed quite far forward in peals.

Positions of responsibility: I have held many including society Education Officer, and currently Tower Captain. I did once stand for the position of district Ringing Master, against a man, and was unsuccessful, but it's debatable if this was a gender issue.

Conducting: I have been in towers/bands where I was encouraged, (eg at university) and those where I have had to ask for opportunities if I've wanted to conduct, which frankly I'm not bothered about doing a lot of the time.

Break for having a family: this certainly put my ringing career on the back burner for 10 years, and I sometimes wonder if my 12-bell ringing would be of contest standard if I had worked on it during those years, but I don't regret the time I spent with my young children!

In summary, having a confident personality, a feminist streak, and learning when younger, has certainly helped overcome any gender bias to a large extent.