JUSTICE, EQUITY, DIVERSITY & INCLUSION (JEDI)
Burton is a purpose-led brand rooted in snowboarding and the outdoors. We fight for the future of our people, planet, and sport. It’s our goal to maximize our positive social impact and minimize our negative environmental impact while delivering high-quality performance products.
JUSTICE / ACTIVISM
After a Global Directors meeting in 2003, Donna Carpenter noticed a glaring issue: Out of 25 directors in attendance, only 3 were women. “We were pulling from the ski, skate, and surf industries, and we kind of took on this male-dominated culture that we hadn’t planned for. Women said they didn’t see themselves at Burton 10 years from now with a family,” explained Donna. “For me, it was this ‘Oh, shit’ moment—women don’t feel welcome in this company or the snowboard community.” This eye-opening experience was the first step toward gender equality at Burton.
After recognizing this imbalance, Donna and Jake Carpenter introduced several key initiatives that changed the trajectory of women’s careers at Burton. They started by instituting a generous maternity and paternity policy, which allowed a caretaker to travel with new moms and dads on business trips for the first 18 months.
Donna also introduced the Women’s Leadership Initiative (WLI) and Women’s Professional Association (WPA) which created room for female employees to grow within the organization. Just two years after the WLI mentorship program launched, 50% of women who participated received a promotion or transferred to departments and roles that better aligned with their career goals. Thrilled with these results and eager to impact even more people at Burton, the Mentorship Program was formalized and offered company-wide in 2010.
The Women’s March, a worldwide protest on January 21, 2017, was the largest single-day protest in United States’ history. The day after Donald Trump’s inauguration, 200,000+ people (including Donna Carpenter and Burton employees) took to the streets of Washington, DC to protest Trump’s anti-women statements. As a vocal supporter of women’s rights, Donna Carpenter offered to pay for transportation and lodging for anyone at Burton who wanted to join the march.
Burton believes in supporting policies that protect our people, planet, and sport. From climate lobbying and women’s rights to amplifying marginalized voices on and off the mountain, we fight for what we believe in.
January 2022: Donna Carpenter supported Vermont’s Prop 5, the proposed amendment to the Vermont constitution to guarantee the right to personal reproductive liberty for ALL Vermonters. A letter from Donna on the importance of Prop 5.
October 2020: Donated $50,000 to the BIPOC Small Business and Nonprofit Relief Fund for the City of Burlington, VT
August 2020: Joined Ben and Jerry’s campaign to end qualified immunity
June 2020: Donated $100,000 to the NAACP LDF
2019: Added infertility coverage to our medical plan for up to $15k of services. We enhanced our Parental Leave Policy to provide paid time off for 12 weeks of pregnancy leave and 4 weeks for parental Leave
2018: Burton closed all offices and retail stores on U.S. federal election day 2020 to boost voting participation. Since 2018, we offered four hours of paid time off for employees to participate in every local, state, and federal election
2017: We added coverage for Gender Affirming Surgery to our medical plan
Burton is committed to justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion for the long-term health of our company, sport, and community.
While Burton is constantly addressing the problem of accessibility (through Chill and our recent support of public snowboard parks) it would be misguided to believe that our slope’s homogeneity is just an accessibility problem. There is also a cultural belief that snowboarding is for white people. As a leader in the industry, we can help change that. By inviting people that profoundly influence global culture, we can shift the perception of our sport.
In 2021, we launched Culture Shifters as an annual snowboarding event that brings together BIPOC people from all walks of life, including professional athletes, musicians, and journalists. Led by Selema Masekela, Zeb Powell, and the Burton team, the goal of this event is to expand the culture of snowboarding.
Burton has also committed $300,000 over three years to increase BIPOC representation in snowboarding. This commitment comes after a partnership with Virgil Abloh, American fashion designer, entrepreneur, and the first Black man to be an artistic director for Louis Vuitton.
We're committed to ensuring that everyone enjoys the ride and feels welcome in our community. In 2021, we celebrated Pride by amplifying LGBTQ+ voices and sharing experiences from employees and ambassadors on the importance of visibility in the outdoors. You can read those stories here. In 2022, we’re teaming up with an artist to create our first Pride Collection. Learn more.
We are also proud to partner with The Venture Out Project, a nonprofit organization that helps LGBTQ+ individuals safely experience the outdoors. From LGBTQ+ education around gender identity and pronouns to inclusive meetups for our LGBTQ+ community, we realize the power that a brand can have on a sport and the world, and we want to be a force for positive change.
At Burton, we lead by example, and we believe in paying our athletes fairly. The Burton U.S. Open Snowboarding Championships awarded equal prize money to men and women since its beginning over 35 years ago.
The Chill Foundation
Founded by Jake and Donna Carpenter in 1995, The Chill Foundation empowers at-risk youth to build resiliency and confidence through board sports like snowboarding, surfing, and skating. With programs in 24 cities and 10 countries, Chill is proud to serve youth 10 – 18 years old.
Volunteer, donate, or learn more about Chill here.
Our company is where we can build a microcosm of the larger world that we want to see. From solar panels on the roof at HQ, to organic garden plots for employees, skate ramps, dogs in the office, grassroots employee groups, discounted season passes, company ride days, and caregiver policies—we aim to create a culture that is constantly progressing forward.
We offer our teams many ways to get involved:
· Affinity spaces for BIPOC and LGBTQ+, including BIPOC and LGBTQ+ ride days and meetups
· Mentoring Network
· Women’s Leadership Initiative (WLI)
· Women’s Professional Association (WPA)
· Environmental Protection, Integrity, and Conservation (EPIC)
· The Exchange