Danielle Johnson

HED: Female Kent State students prepare for futures in male dominated field

Female Kent State students are proving they are just as qualified to work in a male dominated industry while working for their school’s athletic teams.

Working in the athletic field where these women are considered a minority, some feel as though they need to prove they deserve to be there just as much as anyone else does.

“Personally, being a woman in a male dominated industry, I find me pushing myself to know a little more than those around me,” said Taylor Campbell (CQ), a senior sport administration major and Kent State wrestling team equipment manager. “Knowing the industry is predominately men, I myself have worked harder than those around me to prove that I can compete with everyone else.”

Even if these students are not necessarily being held to higher standards by their co-workers, they are holding themselves to these standards because they know the field they decided to go into is not always going to be that way for them.

“I realize I am definitely working in a male dominated field,” Bridget Looney (CQ), a junior exercise science major and student manager for the Kent State women’s basketball team, said. “But I have never once felt less than or below anyone I work with at Kent State when it comes to my gender.”

Maria Zaynor (CQ), a managerial marketing major with a minor in sports administration, works for the Kent State football team as an equipment manager.

“It took me a little more than a year to prove to everyone, especially myself, that I am just as capable and worthy of being here as any guy,” Zaynor said.

These women are responsible for a lot when it comes to their teams. They assist coaches with drills, help with equipment malfunctions during events, and even travel with the teams across the country.

Their jobs are far from boring, because the work day is always changing for them depending on what season it is.

“Right now, I’m working on implementing an online inventory, recording and distribution system,” Zaynor said. “This will make handing out clothes to the players and placing orders with Under Armour easier.”

While working in a field they enjoy, they are also learning valuable skills that will help them in their professional careers.

“My goal is to do physical therapy for a sports team,” Looney said. “This job helps me see the administrative side of being on the team.”

Campbell hopes to work for a sports team after she graduates, specifically something in college athletics, and said this job has helped her learn important skills and network with many people.

“Interacting with the coaches and athletes has helped me expand my communication skills,” Campbell said. “Working in the equipment room also allowed for me to expand my professional network that could possibly lead to a future career.”

Working for athletic teams in college has made these women feel more confident to reach for jobs in an industry that is male dominated.

“I especially want to encourage girls to break some glass ceilings and work in sports,” Zaynor said. “April Goss, the female kicker who graduated last year, was such an inspiration to me. She taught me that we, as girls, are powerful and we can change the world of football for the better and I hope I have the opportunity to inspire that in someone else.”