Tori is one half of West Country Adventures. She is a qualified teacher, and kayak coach turned climbing coach, aiming to inspire and support women in their ambition to become independent rock climbers.
During our conversation, Tori candidly shares the challenges of working in the outdoors, particularly the wage disparities and financial challenges faced by women. She offers advice on how to gain experience, emphasising the importance of volunteering, shadowing, and observing others at work.
Tori's own journey involved studying outdoor education, travelling, managing a climbing retreat in Spain, and joining a team of polar explorers going up to the North Pole. Through these experiences, she has gained a wealth of knowledge and skills, and now offers valuable insight into the opportunities available for those interested in pursuing a career in the outdoors.
Tori is passionate about the outdoors and the benefits it offers, particularly for mental health. She also highlights the changing landscape of the industry, with governing bodies working to encourage women to work in the outdoors and provide support for them.
Get ready for an exciting month of July on the Tough Girl Podcast, as we shine a spotlight on women working in the outdoors. Sponsored by Land & Wave - join us as we delve into their stories, gain insights, and discover valuable tips from their incredible experiences.
Don't miss out on these empowering episodes released every Tuesday and Thursday at 7am UK time - hit the subscribe button and be part of the adventure!
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Who is Tori
Working with female clients
Being athletic and loving team sports
Studying at Exeter College
Being a member of the Scouts
Embarking on a career in the outdoors
Teaching in a formal classroom setting
The wage disparity between the outdoors and other industries
Studying outdoor education and what it was like
Starting out with very little knowledge
Developing personal skills
Needing to be to 18 to work in the outdoors
Doing her Bachelor’s degree (Geography and Outdoor Education) at Manchester Metropolitan University
Is university worth it?
How to connect with and contact employers
Advice for getting experience
Why a wide range of experience is essential
Looking for volunteer opportunities
Shadowing and observing others at work
Don’t go too niche too soon
Going travelling to Europe after university
Managing a climbing retreat in Spain
Taking on a full time apprentice role in Yorkshire
Joining a team of polar explorers going up to the North Pole
Teaching polar explorers how to canoe on their sledges
Loving paddlesports and climbing
The opportunities available
Leading overseas expeditions (After qualifying as a Mountain Leader (ML) and First Aider)
Teaching on youth development programs
Making the time for experiences outside and why it’s important
Benefits for your mental health
The challenges of working in the outdoors
Wages and money
Costs of equipment and clothing
Dealing with the miserable days
The financial challenges of women working in the outdoors
Women dropping off in the qualifications/award system in their late 20s
Flexibility and wages and why it’s even harder when you have children
How the Industry has changed over the past 16/17 years
The support from governing bodies to encourage women to work in the outdoors
Dealing with knocks to her confidence
Gear for women that fits
Running women only courses
Concerns about dealings with periods
How to connect with Tori
Final words of advice
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