While women’s wrestling has improved by leaps and bounds in recent years, the overall industry is still very much dominated by men. Change doesn’t happen overnight, and wrestling just so happens to have a history of being a boy’s club.
According to Pro Wrestling Sheet, Brandi Rhodes hopes AEW can change that, as she wants to recruit more women to work behind-the-scenes. Until now, the women’s wrestling revolution has revolved around in-ring talents, but Rhodes thinks women can be hired for executive roles as well.
“There are a lot more smart women that are involved in the wrestling business, as wrestlers or people who want to be involved behind the scenes, that want to have executive roles. I want to see that start to change and I want to see that start to change much more rapidly. But, here’s what I have to say. Ladies. We can’t eat our own. If we’re always eating our own, we’re not gonna make progress.”
The most notable women to work in executive roles are Stephanie and Linda McMahon, but they’re family members of the most powerful man in the entire industry. Furthermore, the latter is more focused on politics these days having recently been a member of the Trump administration. Dixie Carter also oversaw Impact Wrestling for a while, but her tenure was short-lived.
In the grand scheme of things, most women who work backstage in wrestling are trainers. As Brandi notes in the interview with Pro Wrestling Sheet, wrestling is behind other sports when it comes to equal opportunity and promoting progressive values, but AEW appears to be out to shatter the ceilings that have kept wrestling behind other sports in the past.
For every glass ceiling, for every stereotype, for every flat out rejection, for every sleeve rolled up and every calloused hand. For the butt of every joke and for every narrow minded thought. Look how far WE have come! Watch how far WE will go. #AEWIsForEveryone #AEWDynamite pic.twitter.com/24lNpdLZk6— Brandi Rhodes (@TheBrandiRhodes) September 24, 2019
In addition to its focus on giving women the same pay and opportunities as their male counterparts, AEW’s roster currently boasts openly gay and transgender performers. While WWE also has roster members from the LGBT community, the company’s history with offensive storylines has meant that the environment there hasn’t always been inclusive.
AEW’s mantra is that wrestling is for everyone, and they will not stand for outdated ideologies tainting their brand. As Ringside News recently reported, a fan was kicked out of a pay-per-view for making bigoted comments, which set the tone for AEW’s dedication to supporting a positive cause.
Earlier this year, The Inquisitr reported that Rhodes was thrilled to be AEW’s chief brand officer as the role allows her to marry her academic background with her passion for sports entertainment. She now appears to be using her influence to pave the way for other women to work behind-the-scenes, which will be good for diversity in the business going forward.