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  • Writer's pictureMike Brandly, Auctioneer

No women allowed?


Apparently, before 1950 women were not allowed … to be auctioneers?

Emma Bailey is regarded as the first woman auctioneer in the United States. It’s remembered that the first item she sold was on May 12, 1950 — an old rocking chair for $2.50.

Two years later, Emma became the first woman member of the National Auctioneers Association.

Since Emma’s entry into the auctioneer ranks, many women have followed her lead. It’s believed that today nearly 15% of auctioneers in the United States are women, up from 10% in 2010.

Other women auctioneer milestones include Cookie Lockhart who joined her father’s auction company in 1963. She appeared on the 1966 television show “To Tell The Truth,” and was inducted into the National Auctioneers Association’s Hall of Fame in 2007.

In 1994, Marcy Goldring became the first female International Auctioneer Champion auctioneer.

In 2011 Christie King became the first woman President of the National Auctioneers Association. We wrote about Christie King here:

In 2012, Cheri Boots-Sutton became the first woman to win both the International Auctioneer Championship (1999) and the World Automobile Auctioneers Championship.

Today, in 2014, women are not only auctioneers, but win auctioneer contests, lead auctioneer associations, train other auctioneers, as well as own and manage large auction enterprises. Pictured above are Laura Mantle, Auctioneer, Melissa Davis, Auctioneer and Susan Johnson, Auctioneer competing in the Indiana Auctioneer Association’s 2014 Indiana Champion Auctioneer Contest — who are three of many shining examples.

November 17-18, 2014 the National Auctioneers Association is hosting a “Women in the Auction Industry Summit.” The summit description notes:

All too often, differences manifest themselves in ‘fitting in.’ We see a group, a circle of people, or even an industry and convince ourselves that the way to succeed is to fit in: to identify what makes those in the industry successful and then emulate those qualities. In many industries, this pattern shows up around gender differences. In our industry, however, we often see success follow those who stand out rather than fit in. At this summit, learn from those who have found success not by fitting in, but by standing out: by finding what makes them unique and successful and capitalizing on it. You’ll learn how to find your strengths, set the stage for success, capitalize on those qualities that are unique to you and build successful networks not by becoming one of many, but by being an individual.

Thankfully, we can look forward to a future when the auctioneer profession more closely resembles our population. It seems clear more and more women and other non-white-men will be entering the auction industry as auctioneers in the coming years; accordingly the future of the auction industry looks bright.

Mike Brandly, Auctioneer, CAI, AARE has been an auctioneer and certified appraiser for over 30 years. His company’s auctions are located at: Mike Brandly, Auctioneer, Keller Williams Auctions and Goodwill Columbus Car Auction. He serves as Adjunct Faculty at Columbus State Community College, Executive Director of The Ohio Auction School and Faculty at the Certified Auctioneers Institute held at Indiana University.

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