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Out in Front: Tracking Women's Leadership in Adventure Travel


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Year Published


Out in Front: Tracking Women's Leadership in Adventure Travel


The Out in Front Report includes an overview of women’s representation on the boards of adventure companies, the workplace benefits provided at adventure companies, and staff profiles and female representation at each level of these companies. Additionally, the report provides recommendations for reaching greater gender parity in the adventure travel industry.

Globally, women represent between 60 percent and 70 percent of the tourism workforce, according to data from the International Labor Organization (ILO). This same data shows women are not proportionally represented at the leadership level, nor in the government (where only one in five tourism ministers is female) or private sector.

Key findings of the report include:

  • Boards of adventure tourism companies participating in this survey are comprised of 38 percent women. This compares favorably with women’s representation on boards in mainstream tourism and Fortune 500 companies, where 11 percent of board members are women.
  • Respondents reported their own companies provide equal opportunities and equal pay for men and women, but said they believe the adventure industry and broader tourism industry in general do not provide women and men with equal opportunities.
  • Women, and especially mothers, seeking to rise to the top in the industry face challenges, which they believe are not also faced by men, including the pressures of motherhood, chauvinism and the prevalence of an “old boys network,” and a lack of female role models.