Inclusivity in Snowsports

An Outdoors Leadership Roundtable, by Sonya Pevzner

from the author

Diversity, equity, and inclusion are buzzwords in the industry these days, but real change is a perennial challenge.

Although the snowsports industry is notoriously white and middle class, many people want to shift the status quo. To learn more,we spoke with seven leaders in the industry. We asked them about management level and among sponsored athletes, why it matters, and how as an industry we can address the inequity. Here’s what they had to say:

My Response

Consider the sponsored athlete as representative of the [perceived] customer base, while organizational leaders are representative of the talent pipeline.

Blame social inequality—and the entrenched social systems that support it—or why diversity (or lack thereof) looks the way it does now.

Increasing representation is just the beginning of helping the industry evolve to meet the needs of a demographically shifting consumer base. This industry needs the enriching flavors that diversity brings, because product, marketing, and sales can all improve when driven by consumer needs. Ultimately, this conversation is a question of how brands evolve.

The journey from creating representation to evolving brands themselves can begin with one simple question from T. Hudson Jordan: “What actions is my organization taking to foster an inclusive culture where uniqueness of beliefs, backgrounds, talens, capabilities, and ways of living are welcomed and leveraged for learning and informing better business decisions?”

Consider how, when, and where your brand is talking to consumers….because one day, these consumers will want to become your athletes. As an individual, consider how your everyday choices either disrupt or support social inequality. If we, as an industry, want to continue to grow, we need to support changes on both the macro and micro level. Remember, after all, the power of one.

Read the rest of this article to hear responses from Jen Gurecki (of Coalition Snow, Sisu Magazine, and Juicy Bits podcast), Clair Smallwood (of SheJumps), Kim Miller (of Scarpa North America), Errol Kerr (of the Jamaican Ski Team), and Eric Tung (of Fera International).

The entire article was originally published here, .at Outdoor Retailer Magazine’s Winter 2018 Pre-Show Daily.

Learn More

Sonya Pevzner

Writer, Activist, Outdoorswoman

Dani Reyes-Acosta

Interviewee, Brand Strategist, Culture Builder