Last year on International Women's Day we made a statement of intent detailing how we were going to proactively work towards addressing the balance of male/female visitors. Whilst we are still striving to improve this, we believe we have made some positive steps in the last 12 months.
Where relevant - and of course a lot of gear is unisex - we have been publishing a wider range of women's specific gear reviews. We began this by recruiting new female members to our test team, and now we have Rebecca Ting on board to co-ordinate a series of women's-specific group tests. We published a group test on all-round harnesses for women, and have more scheduled this year (starting with mid-weight down jackets and performance rock shoes).
In addition to reviewing more women's specific gear, we have also proudly supported events such as The Women's Trad Fest and Women's Climbing Symposium. The 2018 Women's Trad Fest was a resounding success, with nearly 200 climbers in attendance, beautiful weather, plus it sold out faster than Glastonbury! All credit to the fantastic team behind the event.
We commissioned this short video that was shot at the event called 'Why We Climb,' the premise being that irrespective of age, gender or experience, the reasons why we climb are much the same: for the friends, for the movement, for the people, for the places, and perhaps most of all - because it's fun.
In 2017, Women in Adventure ran a survey with the aim of finding out what drives and inspires women, as well as looking at the barriers and issues that were making it difficult for women to get involved in outdoor sport. The survey highlighted some interesting points such as:
Over the past year we have published many articles about women operating at all levels, and across all disciplines of climbing, hill running and hill walking. First and foremost, these are inspiring individuals who just happen to be female!
We have also been working on diversifying our content more generally, so if the occasional female-specific article creeps in - such as Hillwalking During Pregnancy - then we'd consider that a small step towards redressing a gender imbalance in the outdoor media that has probably existed since the beginning. We promise there'll never be a separate 'women's section' on UKC or UKH!
The UKC/UKH team are constantly reassessing and evaluating our own performance, and we aim to continue making the site a relevant and welcoming place for everyone. If you have any suggestions for how we might do better, please do not hesitate to get in touch.