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Camber Outdoors, KEEN Welcome Fall Mentor Allyship Cohort

September 19, 2022

The Camber Outdoors Mentor Allyship Program, sponsored by KEEN, leverages allyship through mentoring to advance a more inclusive, equitable and productive outdoor industry.

BOULDER, Colo. /OUTDOOR SPORTSWIRE/ (Sept. 14, 2022)Camber Outdoors, the non-profit organization with the mission of supporting workplace inclusion, equity and diversity for outdoor-recreation focused organizations, in partnership with KEEN Footwear, welcomes its fall Mentor Allyship program cohort. The Mentor Allyship program, named to reflect the critical role men have in promoting gender equity in the workplace, pairs those who identify as male (mentors) with those who identify as women (mentees).

“The Camber Outdoors Mentor Allyship Program has helped make our workplaces more inclusive by educating Mentor participants about the dynamics of privilege, appropriation, and systemic racism so that they can become better DEI champions,” said Traci Reandeau, VP, Global People & Culture at KEEN and Camber Outdoors Board Member. “Beyond the extensive benefits of mentorship, we’ve seen this program build stronger workplace allies and increased leadership commitment to making organizations more inclusive and diverse. KEEN is a proud sponsor and active participant in the Mentor Allyship Program, and, as a Camber Outdoors Board Member, I could not be more supportive or excited about this program.”

Launched in 2021, the Mentor Allyship Program engages senior, male leadership at Camber Partner companies to build skills and deliver systemic change through mentoring informed by diversity, equity and inclusion principles, as well as the acquisition of allyship literacy, mentoring fundamentals, gender and intersectional fluency, and effective communication with women colleagues.

“I participated in the Camber Mentor Allyship program and it was well worth the time invested,” said Scott Allan, former President and CEO of Hydro Flask and Camber board member. “The facilitators wrote the book on allyship and shared effective, everyday techniques to mentee women and addressed inclusivity barriers in our organization. I learned from my impressive Mentee, making this a mutual learning experience. Watching her bravely take charge of her career and land a C-level role shortly after the program ended was truly inspiring. For anyone looking to be more effective leaders of talent across their organization, this program is a game changer,” he added.

Both the 15-hour 101 and eight-hour 201 certification programs are conducted in two phases. The 101 program consists of trainings on allyship and mentorship foundational skills, and a mentor skill development webinar followed by a three-month mentoring period. The 201 program includes training on the path from interpersonal allyship to industry transformation and the distinction between mentorship and sponsorship, a sponsor/protégé workshop, and, lastly, participants are encouraged to meet with their identified mentees. To close out the 201 program, participants will present their public/systemic allyship initiatives in January 2023.

The “Workplace Allies,” David G. Smith and Brad Johnson, will be facilitating the 101 program. They are gender-in-the-workplace experts that show why and how men have a crucial role to play in promoting gender equality at work.

“I was honored to participate in the Mentor Allyship Program last year. I found Brad and David’s research-backed approach to be clear and insightful and they created a safe space for creating community and camaraderie around the importance of building a more diverse and representative leadership cohort for the Outdoor industry,” said John Evons, KEEN President and past Mentor Allyship Program participant. “Most impactful was the 1:1 time I had with my mentee. Going into this work, I was skeptical that being a man qualified me to be an effective ‘mentor’ for this program, however this work helped me realize that it is my responsibility to be an ally and drive the systemic change in this industry from my position of privilege. Having completed the program with several of my coworkers and other industry leaders, I am confident that the Mentor Allyship Program will continue to successfully educate men in the outdoor industry to recognize their responsibility in driving JEDI initiatives at their organizations. I learned a tremendous amount and had a great experience – I highly recommend this program.”

The program facilitator for the 201 fall cohort is Rania Anderson, a global DEI expert who focuses on the practical actions that leaders take to accelerate their success and build high performing, diverse, gender-balanced, equitable teams. By the end of 2022, Camber and KEEN will have hosted three cohorts.

“Through the Mentor Allyship Program, we continue our commitment to creating inclusive cultures,” said Tiffany Smith, CEO of Camber Outdoors. “As the landscape of workplaces continues to evolve, it challenges systems and traditional ways of work that exclude advancement for women and underrepresented groups. Allyship and Sponsorship are starting points to dismantle homogenous leadership teams and build DEI champions within organizations while supporting the rise of women leaders in the outdoor industry. We are thrilled to continue our partnership with KEEN and kick off our fall programming.”

For more information on the Mentor Allyship Program, including how to sign up or nominate a mentor or mentee, visit https://camberoutdoors.org/mentoring/. To learn about the many benefits of becoming a Camber Partner, including a library of resources and transformative programming, as well as an assigned relationship manager to guide your workplace DEI journey, please visit www.camberoutdoors.org. Eligible small businesses and nonprofits receive full or partial member sponsorship.

About Camber Outdoors

Camber Outdoors is a nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing inclusion, equity and diversity throughout the workplaces that comprise the $887 billion Outdoor Recreation Economy. Camber provides a growing community of corporations, nonprofits and small businesses with programs and tools that accelerate workplace systems-change. To learn more about Camber Outdoors, visit camberoutdoors.org.

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