How Hard is it to Land a Position?

I have read countless stories of people who applied for years and years to Antarctica companies before landing a position. However, in talks with Jeffery Donefield (I’ll link to his blog and some others of my favorites in a later post) he informed me that it’s not unheard of for people to land a position their first attempt – especially if you’re a perfect fit for the job requirements.

That being said I have also read that, because the contracts are government funded they need to strive for a 50/50 male/female ratio. This FAQ states,

The population is maybe 30 percent women, 68 percent men, and 2 percent of some androgynous sort that resist being categorized. At hiring time they strive for a 50/50 mix of women and men, but not enough women apply (I suspect they’re too smart; only guys fall for this bullshit). Maybe more women would apply if they knew how many single, attractive, and financially-secure (okay, well, financially creative) outdoorsy guys are here.

It also states:

Just don’t come down here expecting a good love life (unless you’re a woman, in which case the odds are good but the goods are odd).

….that quote makes me giggle so hard. Because the ratio is not yet 50/50, I’m holding on to the hope that it means females have a good chance of being considered for positions.


Currently it’s winter at McMurdo (2017) and we have about 20% women. Of these women, about 30% are in the galley as cooks or stewards. From the yearbook photos I can estimate another 30% are in supply. It’s interesting.

Here’s a photo taken at Midwinter Dinner 2017 that has most of the 30 women on station in it! (Photographer: Stephen Allinger) Total population: 139.


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