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Diversity, Equity, Inclusion

 4 outdoor companies rise to the ElevateHER Challenge

By accepting the ElevateHER Challenge, an organization pledges to elevate the stature of women’s leadership.


Two-hundred and forty-five businesses and organizations around the country have taken the Women’s Leadership Institute’s ElevateHER Challenge to increase the percentage of women in leadership positions. Of those 245 businesses, only four outdoor brands have taken the challenge: Cotopaxi, ExpertVoice, Vista Outdoor, and now DPS Skis

Cotopaxi CEO Davis Smith is on the board for the Women’s Leadership Institute and says, “The ElevateHer Challenge was important to Cotopaxi because we believe that elevating the stature of women’s leadership is critical to our organization and to our community at large. We wanted to signal to our stakeholders that this is an issue that matters.” 

Businesses who take the challenge aim to increase the retention rate of women employees and work to close the gender pay gap in their company. They also have the goal to increase the number of women on their board of directors and leadership positions and to establish or enhance mentoring and leadership development programs for women within the business. 

Alex Adema, president and CEO of DPS Skis, explains that the outdoor and snowsports industries tend to be male-dominated work environments. 

“It is critical that DPS cuts across this grain to elevate the stature of women in leadership on our team over time. Not only because it is core to our values, but also because we know that greater diversity of perspectives and experiences will bring tremendous value to our company,” he says. 

From a personal perspective, he says having three daughters have been a big influence in taking the ElevateHER challenge.  

“As I see life more and more from their perspective, it has become a personal mission of mine to see DPS be the type of organization that I would be proud to see them work at one day, and one where I know they would have the opportunity to thrive. Every woman on our team deserves that reality,” he says, “We are grateful for a resource such as the ElevateHER Challenge, which provides guidance and support in this area in a way that is genuine to DPS.” 

Sign your company up for the ElevateHER Corporate Challenge here.