Operating as a privately held company has its perks, especially when it comes to upholding our moral values.
Because we don’t have to answer to investors, we’re able to put our money where our mouth is and pursue goals untethered to short-term profits. Gender equity is one of these pursuits.
Jake kicked off our women’s initiative in 2003 when he noticed only three female attendees out of 25 at a global directors meeting. Since then, it’s been Donna’s mission to improve those numbers. She established the Women’s Leadership Initiative in 2004, and today, it’s hard to imagine a better place to be a woman at work. We obviously have a lot of fun at women’s ride days, but we also have incredible maternity and paternity policies, mentors, leadership training, and 14 years later, more than 40% of our leadership team is female.
There’s a lot more to it than that, and the work isn’t finished. For a deeper dive, read REI’s interview with Donna about her efforts on gender equity at Burton. ∆