Women as conductors

When my husband and I started conducting in our young tower, we agreed that I would conduct Plain Bob and he, Grandsire. We did not know at that stage that there was any difference in conducting the two methods but made the rule so that we would both have an opportunity to conduct.

I have found that whether or not I am asked to conduct in other towers depends on the ringing master. Some seem to automatically invite my husband but not me. Others (in a tower in which I ring regularly and with a female ringing master) give me many opportunities to conduct. It must be said that my husband takes more initiative than I in learning to conduct new methods or more variety within a method and willingly teaches me or points me to a reference. This is a difference in our personalities. I am more concerned to improve my ringing before I start to conduct a method while he wants to know how to conduct it as soon as he starts learning it. In one tower in which I have rung over the years, particular people were renowned as conductors of particular methods. One of these was a woman who was almost always invited to conduct Stedman. There seem to be far more advanced male ringers than female, but the women who can conduct, do. As a ringing master, I have a policy of encouraging all members of the tower to do some conducting.

One disadvantage some women (and the occasional man) have is in voice projection. Deeper voices seem to be heard more easily that piping high voices. Maybe voice projection is something that could be included in ringing training.