CINCINNATI, OH (BRAIN)—Outdoor Industries Women’s Coalition (OIWC) has a rejuvenated mission and vision and is also launching a new advocacy program.
For the past 15 years, OIWC has been the foremost resource for women in the outdoor industries to connect with other women and develop their careers. Today, over 1,500 members seek out the OIWC’s education resources and professional development programs aimed to support and diversify the industry from the ground-up. However, through comprehensive surveys of women in the industries, OIWC has learned that one thing is clear: the industry is looking to OIWC to affect change from the top down, in addition to the bottom up, and build an industry where gender equality is assumed.
To instrument such change, OIWC started from within itself. Listening carefully to the feedback of its members and the industry and spending months of lively discussion and debate, the OIWC Board of Directors emerged with a new, succinct and powerful mission and vision:
VISION: Respect, inclusion and gender equality at every level in the workplace.
MISSION: Advocacy, education and resources for women in the outdoor, bike and snowsports industries.
The refreshed mission and vision are the foundation for the new Advocacy Program. As the only women’s organization in the outdoor, bike and snowsports industries, OIWC accepts the duty to act as an advocate for women’s issues, helping to create an industry with more women at top-level positions, getting equal pay for equal work. Outlined out in a 3-year rollout plan, the Advocacy Program’s events and initiatives will identify gender-related issues in the workplace, educate the industry on those issues, and work with the industry to implement solution for such issues.
Working with the industry, the OIWC Advocacy Program with showcase best practices and case studies by hosting workshops, programs, forums and securing keynote speakers for high profile meetings and events. The Advocacy Program will help companies build women’s leadership programs that help create open and honest dialogue in their respective workplaces. Further, OIWC will build an online Advocacy Center that will provide a venue through which individuals and companies can ask questions, build a network, and find solutions to these sensitive issues.
Sally Grimes, executive director of OIWC, said, “If you look up the definition of ‘advocacy,’ you learn that it is a series of actions taken and issues highlighted to change the 'what is' into a 'what should be,' considering that this 'what should be' is a more decent and a more just society. No other organization in the outdoor, bike and snowsports industries is committed to building an industry that is 'what should be': an industry with respect, inclusion and gender equality at every level in the workplace. OIWC believes we can achieve that vision, and be a model for other industries striving towards the same goal.”