Press Releases

Outdoor Industries Women’s Coalition Announces Matched Mentorship Program

For Immediate Release
Contact: Amy Luther, Programs Director

Outdoor Industries Women’s Coalition Announces Matched Mentorship Program

Mentee Applications Being Accepted Now Until January 20, 2014

BOULDER, COLO. (December 20, 2013) – The Outdoor Industries Women’s Coalition (OIWC) announces that the organization is accepting applications for its 2014 matched Mentorship Program. Special thanks go to program sponsors, The North Face, Arc’teryx, and REI for their support.

OIWC’s Mentorship Program is investing in talented women at the manager and director level and in turn, helping to build a more robust leadership pipeline within our industries. Research demonstrates that women’s careers often stall out at this level due to lack of mentorship, support, and guidance. OIWC’s goal is to reverse this trend through the new program and to develop the Outdoor, Snow, Bike and Run industries as the industries of choice for women.

OIWC conducted a pilot phase of the program in the fall of 2013. Five matched pilot mentee/mentor pairs connected a manager or director level women with a woman at the VP/CEO level. By focusing the mentoring efforts on women at the manager and director level, OIWC aims to build a more robust leadership group of qualified women who are committed to careers in the outdoor industries.

Program sponsor, Laura Swapp, Director, Diversity and Inclusion at REI, said, “Nobody progresses in their career or in life without mentors. We all need people whose insight, experience and encouragement elevate us. At REI, we recognize that because of the small percent of women in the industry, it can be difficult to be paired with a mentor who shares a distinct set of challenges and ambitions. We are excited to participate with OIWC in exploring the power of mentoring through this industry-wide pilot and optimistic that the relationships will benefit the women and industry.”

In confirmation of those expectations, pilot mentee, Katie Hawkins, shared, “the OIWC mentoring program has been a catalyst in my career… I have received great feedback on how to be more strategic in making decisions that will inevitably impact my career.”

Based on the success of the pilot program, OIWC will launch their full Mentorship Program in March of 2014 for 25 matched mentee/mentor pairs. The program will last 9-12 months.

Applications are currently being taken for mentees and must be submitted by January 20, 2014 for consideration. Mentees must be OIWC members and manager or director-level women who will be matched with senior or C-level women mentors. For a full description of the program and qualifications for mentees, visit OIWC’s Mentorship Program pages. Any questions can be directed to Program Director, Amy Luther,

About OIWC

Founded in 1996, the Outdoor Industries Women’s Coalition is the only national organization dedicated to workplace diversity and inclusion by expanding opportunities for women and companies in the Outdoor, Snow, and Bike Industries. OIWC provides for professional development and women’s leadership programming that promotes women’s advancement. For our over 90 industry partners, OIWC is the trusted resource for best practices and industry models around workplace gender equity, respect, and inclusion. To learn more about OIWC or to become a new member or sponsor, please visit

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