American Mountain Guides Association president Angela Hawse in action.

Courtesy of Angela Hawse

Like a lot of careers in the outdoors, the world of rock guiding can be a very “bro/bra” culture.

Angela Hawse, the president of the American Mountain Guides Association, is familiar with that. Only eight percent of the organization’s certified guides are women, Hawse said.

But now, they’re trying to change that.   

With the help of The North Face, the American Mountain Guides Association is launching its first-ever women-only rock guiding course in Boulder this September. Hawse will be one of the course instructors.

Hawse talked to Colorado Matters about how women haven’t had enough role models in the rock guide community.

“When I started guiding over 30 years ago, I had very few role models that I could look up to as women that were successful and had carved out a career and had longevity with that,” she said.

Through the course, Hawse and her team are trying to encourage more inclusivity and eliminate as much unconscious bias as possible.