The Vermont-based adventure company Get Out And Trek (GOAT) announced on May 14 that they are developing the outdoor industry’s first Outdoor Equality Index (OEI) to help companies and organizations improve their diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts targeting LGBTQ+ communities. Evan Ferchau, GOAT’s new Director of Equality Programs, will be developing the index by surveying participating companies from June 2020 through June 2021.
“An OEI will act as a road map to inform LGBTQ+ consumers on the inclusive efforts of outdoor business,” Ferchau said in a GOAT press release. “To help motivate this push for more LGBTQ+ Diversity Equity and Inclusion in the outdoor industry, we must first clearly and concisely quantify support for the LGBTQ+ community among outdoor companies.”
To determine this concise quantification, the OEI survey will ask companies about their marketing directives, business partnerships, non-discrimination policies, corporate inclusivity and social responsibility, worker benefits, and consumer goods and services as they relate to LGBTQ+ employees and customers.
The goal of the Outdoor Equality Index is to help consumers make more informed choices about which companies to support based on their inclusion efforts; something like the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index. And while the Outdoor Industry Association publishes an outdoor participation report every year, they do not track nonbinary gender participation nor participation based on sexual identity. According to GOAT founder Keith Oberlin in their press release, “GOAT is committed to providing transparency and resources to aid the industry on the road to more LGBTQ+ inclusion.”
Companies interested in participating in the Outdoor Equality Index survey or learning more about the initiative can email OutdoorEquality@beagoat.org or visit the OEI website here.