New Equality Index to Gauge Outdoor Industry’s Engagement with LBGTQ+ Community

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Manchester, VT, (November 17, 2020) – The path to a more inclusive outdoors starts here, starts now. Get Out And Trek (GOAT) announces an open call for outdoor industry organizations to participate in its LGBTQ+ Outdoor Equality Index™ (OEI).

“We know LGBTQ+ people lack representation, access, safety, opportunity, and overall visibility in the outdoors and in outdoor diversity initiatives. However, the much-needed data about the LGBTQ+ outdoor experience we need to fix that, simply doesn’t exist,” said Keith Oberlin, founder of GOAT, the LGBTQ+ outdoor community, and the OEI, “LGBTQ+ people also want to work for, buy from, and believe in organizations that take active steps to say, ‘you belong here’” said Oberlin. “The OEI is a powerful accountability and transparency tool to aid organizations in building credibility, trust, and a better, more inclusive outdoors for LGBTQ+ people.”

Through a series of survey questions, the OEI evaluates an organization’s operations and business model impact on, and engagement with, the LGBTQ+ community. The survey focuses on transparency and awards badges to companies who fully commit to transparency It also celebrates where an honest effort has been made to meets those goals. . The badges may be displayed in-house, on websites, to consumers, to industry peers, and to the LGBTQ+ community to help signal their work and commitment in creating welcoming spaces. So far, nearly 250 outdoor industry companies have been nominated or have volunteered to participate in the online survey. The current survey period has begun and will end March 1, 2021.

Oberlin cites market research to illustrate why a stronger relationship with the LGBTQ+ community benefits an industry struggling with climate change, calls for social justice, and the current pandemic, “LGBTQ+ people wield over $1.3T in spending power but are often overlooked by the outdoor industry. In addition, an over-whelming majority—75% of LGBTQ+ consumers--- say they would switch to and patronize a brand that supported them. If properly engaged, the LGBTQ+ outdoor consumer can not only contribute to the outdoor economy but help make it more resilient.”

To learn more about the LGBTQ+ Outdoor Equality Index, or if you are an outdoor company interested in participating in the survey, please email info@outdoorequality.org or visit the OEI website.

For more about GOAT, visit our website at https://beagoat.org/.

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GOAT, Get Out and Trek, is an outdoor community of LGBTQ+ adventurists, that, through its trips, events, and advocacy, is carving a path to more authentic representation in the outdoors. And having fun doing it!

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