For years, Antarctica was a hostile place for women, and they faced significant political and social obstacles if they wanted to go. Antarctica was — and still remains — a masculine realm in popular imagination: never permanently inhabited, beautiful but hostile.
Today, more women are taking roles as base commanders, expedition leaders, heavy equipment operators, scientists and researchers. This article and photo essay features some of the women working in Antarctica today.
“I love being a woman working in a man’s world. It challenges [men], but I think it also brings humor, delight and a nice balance to working in such an extreme environment, especially for extended amounts of time. For me, as a woman, the secret is not to compete or try to prove to the men how equal I am, but more to accept our differences and unique strengths and form a unified team who has each other’s backs.”–Juanita Volker, a South African expedition guide who has worked in Antarctica for 9 seasons