This is not a bad thing, it’s great, it should be celebrated and acknowledged and if we’re honest it was always inevitable that a women’s experience of the outdoors would be different. We all experience things differently and of course, gender plays a role in that, even when it comes to adventure.
The internet has been bursting with the conversation about “what women want” in terms of an outdoor experience, adventure and gear for a few years now. There are many opinions spread far and wide about women’s groups, women’s gear reviews, the sexualisation of sport, do we want to wear pink or not? do we want to go on women only retreats camps or events? Are we all feminists? What makes women happy? Why are women perhaps better at endurance sports? As well as the celebration of women in their sports. But, until now there is has been no collective voice, no one has actually taken the time or effort to ask a diverse group of women what their experience of the outdoors is and how it makes them feel.
This is where Women in Adventure come in. They have done this! Hurrah!
They launched a survey in 2017 to investigate the association between the outdoors and mental wellbeing in women and received a staggering response with over 2,700 replies as well as hundreds of personal stories. They have painstakingly analysed this data and TODAY is the day their beautiful report, full of invaluable and insightful information, that will hopefully have a far-reaching benefit to women worldwide was published.
To read the report follow this link.
Why did they do this?
Well, apart from the fact that they’re awesome, they’re also insanely passionate about this topic (which is undeniably evident when you speak to them and even more so when you see the detail and effort that has gone into presenting their findings from this survey).
They felt rather than join the chatter, it would be way more beneficial to LISTEN.
If they were going to be able to fulfill their goals of:
- Educating individuals about the outdoors.
- Help businesses and individuals gain funding for initiatives related to mental wellbeing.
- Help steer the industry and brands towards positive change.
- To open and encourage conversation about mental wellbeing and the outdoors.
They saw that this would not be possible and no meaningful change could ever come about if everyone was basing their view and conversation on what women want and how they feel, around assumption and guesswork. It needed to be way bigger than that. They need to understand what effects the outdoors had on the mental health of women to begin to understand what the specific wants and needs are and assist individual and businesses how best to begin to approach and provide that.
We hope now that the outdoor industry sits up, takes notice and harnesses the power of the incredible work that Women in Adventure have done and we really want to say a huge thank you for taking the time and initiative to listen and represent us.