3 Women Who Are Making Waves In Traditionally-Male Spaces*

Women aren’t getting a fair share of space in life.

We’re now into the second decade of the 21st century, but there’s still a heck of a long way to go before we can say we’re even close to destroying the gender gap.

Women earn less than men, hold fewer high-profile management roles, and are criminally under-represented in government leadership positions.

While this gender divide runs throughout society, there are some spaces that are even more male than others.

I’ve picked three women who aren’t only scaling the waves in their male-dominated industries, they’re pushing many men into the surf due to the strength of their performances.

Jennifer Harman: Poker

Jennifer Harman is one of the world’s leading poker players. Harman has won two World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelets, scored 12 final table finishes, and achieved 32 money finishes – she’s a woman excelling in the traditionally-male dominated world of poker.

Harman began playing poker competitively when she was 16, using a fake ID to get entry to tournaments – find out more about her background to learn about what she’s overcome to make it in poker.

While she continued to play regularly, it wasn’t until Harman dropped out of university that she made the move into professional poker – and it’s been a very successful move.

She’s one of only three women to have won a WSOP bracelet and has earned $2,765,348 in career winnings – making her 594th on the all-time money list and 12th on the women’s all-time money list.

Poker has long been a male-dominated game and industry – around 85% of online and 95% of offline players are men. Jennifer Harman is an example to women everywhere who want to shift the balance in poker.

Fallon Sherrock: Darts

The 2020 darts World Championship saw one of the biggest upsets in the sport’s history – and I’m not talking about Peter Wright defeating Michael van Gerwen.

Fallon Sherrock became the first woman to win a World Championship match, beating Ted Evetts and Mensur Suljovi? before losing to Chris Dobey in the third round.

Sherrock’s first major success in darts came in 2012 when she won both the Girls’ World Masters and Women’s Jersey Open – she then repeated the trick at the 2013 Women’s British Classic.

Further performance highlights in Sherrock’s career include a BDO Ladies World Championship record five of 180s during a semi-final win and six 180s in her final loss.

She’s currently 91 on the PDC ranking, has won over 20 tournaments, and has career winnings of more than £75,258.

Darts is one of the most male-dominated sports, with its laddish culture (beers during the games and the walk-on girls) contributing to this. Fallon Sherrock’s success is helping to make waves for women in darts.

Julia Hartz: Tech

Julia Hartz is one of the world’s leading tech specialists. Hartz is the co-founder and C.E.O. of Eventbrite, an enormously successful ticketing and event-management platform with millions of users across the globe.

Hartz studied communication and broadcast journalism at Pepperdine University in Malibu, California. After completing her studies, she then worked for MTV and FX, with Jackass, The Shield, and Nip/Tuck among the shows on her résumé.

After five years working in the TV industry, Hartz made the switch into tech when she co-founded Eventbrite in 2006 Kevin Hartz (her husband) and Renaud Visage.

Today (January 2020) Eventbrite is worth over $2 billion, has a revenue of $291.6 million, employs over 1,000 people, and is (perhaps) the planet’s leading event-management platform.

Hartz’s personal success isn’t only tied to the performance of Eventbrite – the platform she’s earned from Eventbrite has made Hartz one of Fortune magazine’s most powerful female entrepreneurs, along with positioning her as one of the key voices in changing the gender balance in tech.

The tech industry has long been one of the most male-dominated industries, with UK students three times more likely to be able to name a famous man in tech than a famous woman. Julia Hartz is a powerful advocate for changing the gender imbalance in tech, not only through her deeds but also through her words.


2020 marks the 80 year anniversary of women in Quebec being given the vote – 24 years after their sisters in Manitoba had been granted that same right.

While Jennifer Harman, Fallon Sherrock, and Julia Hartz are doing wonderful things to show there shouldn’t be a gender divide (period) the fact this article was commissioned means there’s still a huge way to go.

Let’s make the 2020s the decade that we put an end to all gender dominated industries.

*Guest Post/Sponsored Post

22 thoughts on “3 Women Who Are Making Waves In Traditionally-Male Spaces*”

  1. Women are doing better than men in universities across North America. Med schools, engineering schools, and schools in general, women are outperforming men. It will be interesting to see how this decade shows up. A lot more needs to be done at the grassroots level to motivate young girls to achieve everything they can and not be caught up in insecurities and doubts. Every member of society needs to be aware of these issues and i am trying by blogging on women empowerment. Thanks for this article as I have not heard of any of these three women.

    1. I have seen a rise in female-focused groups and seminars, encouraging young women to pursue their careers in whatever field interests them. It’s incredibly heartwarming to watch this generation of women being supported in this way!

  2. There are many stories of successful women out there but unfortunately, they aren’t highlighted the way they should. I have watched many a WSOP on TV and Jennifer is a powerhouse. The actress Jennifer Tilly is no slouch either! I’d venture to say any female sportscaster has to battle quite a bit to get where they are on networks like ESPN that are male-dominated. As a father of two daughters, I am glad to see any stride in the direction of equality in life and the workplace.

    1. I love seeing stories of women breaking through the old school ‘boys club’ mentality in male-dominated careers like sportscasting. I will be honest and say that when I was younger, I didn’t really think about it all too much until I joined the Canadian Armed Forces and had a chance to see some of it firsthand. I met some INCREDIBLE strong women during that journey and have been far more aware of it since.

  3. Julia is actually a good friend of mine. I love that you added her to this list. She is an incredible person. Wonderful blog post. Very empowering and inspiring. Happy Valentine’s Day Britt.

  4. If it wasn’t for women, men would not be around. I have followed Jennifer Harman playing pock and she is amazing. Two World Series of Poker bracelets and only one of three women to do so is not a small win! Here is to many more successes of women.

    1. She is incredible! I think it’s important for us to take the time to recognize and highlight women who are making a difference in the world in all areas of life. Openly discussing it and sharing their accomplishments will help to alleviate the negative stereotypes that still, sadly, exist.

    1. I really hope that stories like these ladies included here will help to spread exactly that message – women can do anything!

  5. I’m slightly ashamed to admit I haven’t heard of any of these ladies and while I don’t watch sport, I feel I should know about Julia Hartz, particularly as I have used Eventbrite on many occasions. Thank you, Britt, this was a very interesting post 🙂

  6. I LOVE this post! It’s definitely great to recognise the strong women in our society, especially within male dominated areas! I watched on TV when a woman won the first ever female win for darts and it was incredible to see! x

    1. It’s so amazing to watch (or read about) women busting through barriers in that way, proving that they are capable of anything a man can do. While I will say that each sex has its strengths, and there’s nothing wrong with embracing that, it should never be used to hold anyone back!

  7. It’s always good to know about people who are charting a successful course in their lives and achieving success in their fields. It’s so motivational.Thanks for sharing.

    1. I love hearing and reading stories of women succeeding, especially in careers that aren’t typically seen as a ‘woman’s career’ (what is that anyway??? lol)

  8. Helen's Journey

    Great post! Wow who knew Eventbrite was worth so much. I don’t follow darts or poker, so was an enlightening post as to how females are doing in both of these sectors. A great ‘girl power’ post & a reminder of the things still yet to be equalised between the sexes in all different parts of the world.
    Helen | http://www.helensjourney.com

  9. Interesting read. Certainly doesn’t make sense for any of these to be male-dominated. I know the darts in particular made a lot of headlines in the UK earlier in the year.

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