The tent and event industry may be male dominated, but it offers exceptional opportunities for women to succeed.
The wedding industry tends to garner a lot of negative headlines and jokes. (Bridezillas! Ugly bridesmaid dresses! Cheesy wedding songs!) But in a recent column in the Washington Post, essayist Gretchen Comcowich summed up one of the best aspects of the industry. “I cheer because the wedding industry is a corner of the economy where it’s the norm to see women in leadership positions, and weddings create a space for artists of all shapes and sizes to monetize their crafts,” she wrote. “Musicians, dancers, calligraphers, chefs and photographers can not only get paid for their work at a wedding, they can get paid well.”
I would tack on tent and event professional to the list of wedding-related vocations where women can prosper.
Even as it remains male-dominated, the tent manufacturing and event rental industry has always involved women. These businesses were often founded as family operations, and many remain so to this day. And women are more likely to take over their family’s company—or launch their own—than ever before.
So when we sat down to select women to interview for this issue’s feature article on women in the tent industry, the challenge wasn’t finding women who are strong, respected leaders. It was narrowing the list down to a reasonable number for a 2,000-word article.
Of course, the tent and event industry goes well beyond weddings, and the women featured in this issue reflect just a few of the many paths to success. My favorite story comes from a customer of Alert Management Systems, who was excited that in Alert, his daughter would have a rental-industry model of a women-owned business.
So cheers to the women who set great examples of leadership in this industry—and to everyone who works to create career paths for the next generation.