Inclusion: We Can and Must Do Better
The world around us is changing, and our winter outdoor community needs to change with it. As a community that has often prided itself on progression and exploration - in terms of skill, technology, and destination - we must now evolve and expand our mindset to ensure the survivability of our industry.
Though our winter community encompasses a range of activities and different levels of ability, there is an undeniable homogeneity to our demographic composition. This may be a reflection of the origins of the industry, but we are here to say this is not how it should remain.
As an industry, we have a choice: we can circle the wagons and try to maintain the status quo, or we can choose to open ourselves and the community to the incredible opportunity in front of us. We can grow winter outdoor participation, engage a new generation of consumers, stimulate innovation, and expand our businesses by adopting a simple concept: Inclusion.
What does Inclusion mean? Inclusion means finding ways to embrace and incorporate diverse perspectives and peoples everywhere, across the industry. Inclusion is about consciously reaching out to new, historically underrepresented customers, and actively inviting them into our winter outdoor community. Besides driving participation, which is crucial to the long-term sustainability and vitality of our industry, inclusion is also an essential component of a more productive, innovative, and profitable workforce. Simply put, we must include more voices, perspectives, and participants, from the slopes to the sales floor, and from the c-suite to the production line.
The good news is that we are already well-prepared to embark on the inclusion journey. We each were drawn to the winter outdoor community by some combination of our love for adventure, our ability to push our own boundaries, our willingness to learn, and our desire for belonging. This mindset is fundamental to inclusion and will serve us well as we open and expand our community.
We are a community of nimble and forward-thinking businesses, organizations, and individuals with a collective responsibility for the future of the industry. It’s our time and our responsibility to make a sincere commitment to inviting more people to take their turn, to supporting their journey, and to improving the quality of the winter outdoor experience for everyone. Together, through our commitment to inclusion, we will forge a sustainable and thriving future for our industry.