(Inspired by the “The CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion™”)
In signing the Outdoor Industry CEO Diversity Pledge, I will help craft a specific set of actions for my company which will:
1. Hire and support a diverse workforce and executive leadership.
This may include:
broadcasting job opportunities and internships to underrepresented populations in our workforce and executive leadership.
exploring diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) education for our teams.
building workplaces that enable challenging conversations about DEI.
2. Present representative marketing and advertising in our media.
This may include:
Showcasing stories that break the mold of the “typical” outdoor user. Prospective consumers feel invited into the outdoors when they see themselves in stories, articles, cover photos, and marketing. In helping evolve an outdoor media landscape landscape that is overwhelmingly white, male, and able-bodied, we invite new users into the outdoors, and support those who are already there.
3. Engage and support broadly representative ambassador and athlete teams.
This may include:
Supporting underrepresented voices and stories in the outdoors to provide the next generation a collection of role models who represent all backgrounds, and remind them that they, too, can excel and be welcomed in the outdoors. Our athletes and ambassadors represent the core values of our brand, which is why we support them with gear and funding to achieve their outdoor goals, and showcase them in our media.
4. Finally, we will share our experiences with other leading brands.
By committing to The Pledge, we commit to establishing programs and initiatives around diversity and inclusion. In recognition of the greater outdoor community within which we exist, we will help other companies in their own paths to inclusive representation, and make ourselves open to real conversations about the challenges we face together.
We commit to sharing our progress with a representative from The Pledge Steering Committee to evaluate our progress towards weaving diversity, equity and inclusion within our brand. We will track our own progress, share regular updates with the representative, and hold ourselves accountable to the goals we have set via the Pledge.
We will also support other outdoor brands in their pursuit of inclusion: by building a culture of collaboration, we enhance existing programs and commitments to better serve the greater outdoor community.
We recognize that the commitments above won’t solve our challenges overnight, but we believe they represent incremental progress toward building a more inclusive outdoor industry. We hope this list of signatories will grow over time, and we invite other Outdoor Industry CEOs around the world to join us.
We believe the outdoor industry will reach its full potential when it represents everyone who goes outside. By committing to The Pledge and advocating for diversity and inclusion within our workplaces, industries, and broader business community, we create an outdoor landscape that includes and empowers everyone.
As of October 2018, The Pledge is also accepting nonprofit supporters as signatories. Due to limited human resources, nonprofits will not have a Steering Committee Partner, but will have their logo displayed on The Pledge website to show their commitment to inclusion in the outdoors.
People of color are subject to stubborn inequities around the world. This lack of equity is especially pronounced in the United States. We have a valuable opportunity to take on racial, ethnic and other divides by promoting diversity, equity and inclusion within our outdoor communities.
Outdoor CEOs hold influence over the future of the outdoors. As representatives of some of America’s largest outdoor brands, they invite the types of people who choose to recreate outside and shape how they behave. Day-to-day, they manage countless employees who do the same. In the way they manage, they can elevate inclusion to the front of our workplace culture.
Advocating for inclusion isn’t just for social good, it’s also good for the economy: it improves corporate performance, drives growth and enhances employee engagement. Outdoor organizations with diverse groups of employees, athletes/ambassadors, and media representation perform better and leave our outdoor spaces in better hands for the next generation.
If business leaders are willing to advance diversity, equity and inclusion holistically across their businesses, they more effectively engage and support all underrepresented groups. To do this, they must address honestly and head-on the concerns and needs of their diverse employees to increase equity for all.
We realize that racial and ethnic diversity doesn’t stand alone: it intersects with diversity of Age, Gender, Sexual Orientation, Religion, Disability, Socioeconomic Status and other categories of identity. We’re committed to empowering those whose identities have been underrepresented in categories such as those above. We support ongoing advocacy efforts for body-positive culture, women, indigenous rights, LGBTQIA+ equality, and differently-abled outdoor enthusiasts, including the pledge from Camber Outdoors.
We’re the new outdoor industry.
We walk, we run, we ski, we bike, we sit, we fish, we hunt, we surf, we swim, we laugh, we camp, we boat, we climb, we hike, we learn, we enjoy, we reflect, we suffer, we grow, we celebrate, we protect, we love, we care about our outdoor spaces and the opportunities they provide and we’re here.
We’re inspired to use our shared voice for change. It’s time for the outdoor industry to make a bold step towards diversity and inclusion, particularly they relate to people of color.
The Outdoor Industry CEO Diversity Pledge was formed out of a desire for the outdoor business community to advance diversity and inclusion as part of their brands’ ethic--both in their internal behaviors and external connections to the world of outdoor recreation and its consumers.
We’re part of a demographic shift: the Census Bureau projects that the country will have a majority nonwhite population by 2044. As Glenn Nelson of The Trail Posse writes, “If that new majority has little or no relationship with the outdoors, then the future of the nation’s parks, and the retail and nonprofit ecosystem that surrounds them, will be in trouble.”
This is our opportunity to grow the industry and its commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion for people of color in the outdoors.
The signed companies realize that diversity, equity and inclusion is important to their brand and to the outdoor industry as a whole because:
People deserve to have their identities validated in the outdoor pursuits they love.
Inclusive representation in outdoor media is good business--brands grow their bottom line when they seek diversity, equity and inclusion in their advertising and marketing.
The signatories above have committed to supporting the following pledge within their workplaces. Where companies have already implemented one or several of the commitments, the signed commit to support other companies in doing the same.
How the Pledge Works
A CEO or designated executive signs the pledge on behalf of their company. Well done! This is the start of a path towards a more inclusive outdoor industry.
The company will be assigned a partner from the Steering Committee above to act as a liaison between the company and the pledge.
The company identifies a single representative for communication between the company and the pledge.
Get to know each other! You might consider an onboarding phone call with the partner to share company culture, hopes and dreams, fears, and a favorite outdoor experience or two.
The company meets internally to identify opportunities for growth and programs for consideration over the next year. This is the magic sauce, so to speak. Think measurables. In a year’s time, how will you know that your company is measurably different in its culture? What about five years?
We recommend the company share their plans with the Steering Committee partner for feedback and/or revision. The partner is encouraged to reach out to other members of the Steering Committee to bring in more perspectives.
Over the next year, the company may keep their partner informed of their progress, share ideas, or look for assistance. We’d recommend communication at least three times a year. Hey, we’re doing this on a volunteer basis, so we can’t be there all the time, but we’d love to help you in your efforts.
One year after signing, the company submits a report on their efforts, outcomes, and plans for the future. The Steering Committee will review the report and evaluate companies on their progress. To reward progress, the committee will award Industry Inclusion Leader designation to companies who show significant results from their efforts over the year, and showcase these companies with preferred placement in our media efforts.
The company submits a plan and goals for the next year to their Steering Committee Partner.