Women account for 50.8% of the U.S. population, and yet, as of June 2017, only 11% of those who stand on the Mount Everest summit are women. This disproportionate representation of women goes beyond peaks to CEO positions (5%), Congress (20.5%), and Venture Capital (6%).

It’s no secret that women, people of color, and individuals with disabilities are widely underrepresented in top-level management positions and in outdoor leadership roles. In 2019, it’s a shame that we’re still so behind for equality and equity.

Despite the gains and opportunities women and men have created for gender equality in other areas of society, women are still missing from mountain summits and top-level leadership positions.

Part of the issue remains subconscious or preconceived bias from onlookers and peers that perpetuate toxic and unrealistic roles for women. These vary but often fall under the “Prove-It-Again” mentality, where the first success has to be done again to prove it wasn’t luck, but skill. This bias stems from the assumption that women are inherently less competent than men.

Beyond the PIA mentality, women are shamed for behaviors where men are celebrated, like taking initiative in the workplace or being direct and assertive. In an equal world, women would be celebrated for knowing their worth and standing up for themselves. That’s the world we aim to help create.

The Climb for Equality is a way to welcome men and people of all genders to the conversation about gender equality and to take a pledge to support women in getting to the top. We recognize that supporting female leadership isn’t only a woman’s job, and when all genders come together, everyone benefits. Not only are the benefits felt on an individual basis, but studies have shown that when women are educated and supported in leadership roles economies are strengthened.

“Gender equality is more than a goal in itself. It is a precondition for meeting the challenge of reducing poverty, promoting sustainable development and building good governance.” - Kofi Annan

By using our platforms and our Everest climb to advocate for equality, we hope to continue the idea of establishing precedence for activism and adventure, specifically in mountain sports.

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