In a predominantly and historically male-dominated profession, where is a woman’s place in the auction industry?
How many women are auctioneers? When you picture an auctioneer, you’re not wrong if that image includes a man in a cowboy hat. That is a historically, and even currently, accurate depiction of a typical auctioneer. But it’s hardly the whole picture.
It used to be that women in the auction industry served as support for their auctioneer husband’s business. In fact, the National Auctioneers Association (NAA) used to have an entire Auxiliary of auctioneers’ wives devoted to the auction industry and doing good.
That group of women now comprises a group under the National Auctioneers Foundation called the Legacy Youth Scholarship Committee, which provides scholarships to well deserving students and networking opportunities to its supporters and their families.
There are still many women working in supportive roles for auction companies. Women work in vital roles from clerks to bid assistants to marketing to those who manage just about everything for the company.
But wait, aren’t women auctioneers, too?
As of July 2022, the NAA consists of 416 women, or 15% of the total membership. 78% of these women are entrepreneurs/business owners and yes, auctioneers! (The percentage of male NAA members who are entrepreneurs/business owners is 83%.)
The number of women bid callers grows every day. In fact, the number of women coming out of auction schools and joining the NAA is higher than the association has seen in five years.
Women are experts in every type of asset sold at auction. From real estate to fundraising, collectibles and estates to heavy equipment and more! Find an auctioneer near you today.
Perhaps the most telling sign of the rise of women in the auction industry is seen in the NAA’s Board of Directors. Members elect officers for the Board, and 2020 and 2021 saw back-to-back female presidents, a first in the association’s history. Prior to 2020, only one woman had held the president’s seat.
The NAA’s Board for the 2021-2022 term was also 33% female. For an association made up of only 15% women, that shows how dedicated women are to the future of the industry, and how they are stepping up as leaders.
Where is a woman’s place in the auction industry? If you take a look at NAA leadership, then her place is at the top. Interested in becoming an auctioneer? Read more.