Get access to everything we publish when you sign up for Outside+.
Pledge to Advance Women’s Leadership in Outdoor Industries Surpasses Halfway Goal with More Than 25 High-Profile Companies
OIWC calls for 50 companies to sign CEO Pledge by end of 2015
Boulder, Colo.,—July 16, 2015—The Outdoor Industries Women’s Coalition (OIWC) is proud to announce that since the CEO Pledge kicked off in January 2015, 29 high-profile companies in the active outdoor industries have agreed to accelerate women’s leadership within their businesses by signing its CEO Pledge. The OIWC is now challenging more companies to sign the Pledge by the end of 2015 in order to have 50 participants, allowing the industry to collectively begin to shift the existing paradigms and attract a skilled workforce that reflects the demographics of current and future outdoor enthusiasts.
According to recent research, recruiting, retaining, and advancing women into leadership improves companies’ financial performance, drives productivity, inspires innovation, and grows market share. The OIWC’s goal is to move beyond the research and activate companies and their CEOs within the outdoor industries who want to leverage the diversity of people to create healthy, happy, and more profitable companies. CEOs who sign the pledge will commit to fostering an environment where individual differences are respected and celebrated, will enhance recruiting efforts toward women, and adopt practices designed to increase retention. In turn, OIWC will provide programming and tools to help participating companies achieve their commitment.
“When top leaders come together, like they have with this CEO Pledge, it challenges the status quo and calls for action,” said Deanne Buck, executive director of the OIWC. “The more companies who sign on to support the Pledge, the greater the success for the industry as a whole in inspiring innovation to drive business growth, and cultivating happy, healthy workplaces.”
CEOs who have already signed the pledge lead organizations including Active Interest Media, Arc’ teryx, Advanced Sports International–Fuji Bikes, American Alpine Club, Backcountry, Backpacker’s Pantry, Bell, BRG Sports, Burton Snowboards, CamelBak, ExOfficio, Giant, Icelantic, International Mountain Biking Association (IMBA), KEEN, Marmot, Mountain Khakis, The North Face, The NPD Group’s Sports & Leisure Trends, Optic Nerve, Outdoor Research, Patagonia, Quality Bike Products, REI, SmartWool, Toad & Co., W.L. Gore & Associates, Wolverine Worldwide, and Zappos.
“In January I signed OIWC’s CEO Pledge and REI committed $1.5 million from the REI Foundation. The number of leaders already united to accelerate women’s leadership is a powerful signal of what we can do together to make waves even beyond the outdoor industry with this effort,” said Jerry Stritzke, president and CEO of REI.
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, run, and bike industries. To learn more about the OIWC CEO pledge, visit oiwc.org/pledge.
Tori Barnett Kate Lessman
OIWC Marketing Director Kathleen Lessman Communications