March 8, 2018 is International Women’s Day. In the news there are still too many examples of the wrongs that continue. But there is a growing determination to see change, and to turn those changes into policy, salary adjustments, acknowledgement and ultimately, respect.
Equality in sport changes communities. In the mountains, we see increased numbers of female professional athletes and certified guides. We see women leading and pushing men. Isabelle Santoire is one of 23 female mountain IFMGA/UIAGM mountain guides in France (there are 1800 male guides with the same qualifications). In her words: “People told me that because I was a woman, small in build, and not French, it was unlikely that I could break the barriers and become a mountain guide. What I have learned is that mountaineering is accessible to most people. I help to challenge their perceived limitations and push their mental barriers to move them beyond their comfort zone.”
There are an increasing number of ski mountaineering camps and climbing clinics that aim to encourage women to push themselves in a safe, supportive environment, to increase their confidence and skill level. The achievement is feeling the embrace of community. The empowerment that comes from facing challenges and being helped through them. Stronger women, and the bonds between them, become the agents of more change.
Change is never comfortable, yet people around the world are mobilizing for a future that is more equal. This year, International Women’s Day falls on a Thursday. Arc’teryx is giving employees the day to be involved in their community, connect with each other outdoors and #PressforProgress.
#PressforProgress. Things are not perfect, but we are evolving. On March 8th we focus on women: their wins, losses, joys and sorrow. We take this day to celebrate who we are and accept the challenge to improve by strengthening our community.
Find out how you can #PressForProgress at www.internationalwomensday.com.