The female adventure scene is amazing. Any women who is involved in the outdoors and adventure sports will know that it is a fun, inspiring and supportive collective to belong to. Outdoorsy women are rad women.
As women in adventure sports are still much fewer in number than men however, there's still a lot that we don't know about the female outdoor lifestyle. That's why we were so excited to find this awesome study into just that, conducted by the awesome people over at Women In Adventure.
More than 400 women from 24 different countries, who represent over 35 different adventure sports and outdoors activities, were questioned to find out what inspires women in adventure and to identify anything that makes it more difficult for women to get involved in outdoors adventure.
The results they good back were pretty interesting...
Most common words used by women when answering questions about Inspiration:
Most common words used by women when answering questions about Barriers:
What Sports Do People Love?
The majority of women who answered questions take part in hiking, with a huge 41% claiming that this is one of their interests. Other sports mountain biking and climbing were also high up on the list, with boardsports holding a lower, but still significant number of participants.
What Inspires Women?
When asked ‘who are the women that inspire you?’, most women answered with people they actually know. The ability to support others and overcome obstacle were cited as some of the most inspiring qualities, along strength, passion and perseverance.
Along with each other, the study shows that adventurous women are inspired by the athletes that are kicking ass at the top of the game.
Rachel Atherton, Emelie Forsberg, Megan Hine, Jessica Ennins-Hill, Paula Radcliffe, Laura Trott, Chrissie Wellington, Steph Davies, Catherine Destivelle, Lynn Hill, Sarah Outen, Shauna Coxey, Lizzy Hawker, Nicky Spinks, Anna Frost, and Lizzie Armitstead we're the most mentioned for their success.
What Barriers Do Women Face?
When asked what stops them getting outside an participating in adventure sports, a huge amount, over a third of all people, claimed that money and time are their biggest barriers. The next biggest issues were a lack of confidence or lack of people to do adventure sports with. A small amount of women answered that they felt that a lack of skills stopped them from participating.
When asked about gear, surprise surprise, most women felt an issue with the fact that brands make all women's equipment pink - We feel you guys!!
Rather than thinking of their pursuits in a wider sense, most women answered with a particular adventure they want to conquer. Other women said that they want to get fitter and more confident and have time to get outside and fall in love with the outdoors again.
What Do Adventure Women Want?
- More friendly and inclusive events for all abilities
- More female instructors and coaches.
- More ways to find other women at the same standard to train and adventure with
- More information on solo travelling and adventuring
- A wider range of women in the media that ‘could be me’ in looks, age, and background. ‘Ordinary women doing extraordinary things.’
This study and it's results is super exciting, not just because of what we have found out, but because of the actions we can begin to take because of these results.
As a publication we are committed to working towards equality in all sport. Whether it be through campaigning for better gear, getting more young girls into sport, getting more women to meet each other through action sports or just publicising the achievement of everyday women doing extraordinary things.
Let's get more women into adventure sports and continue to support each other and push female sports forward!