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Involving Women In The Outdoors

By: Lucy Hall

Hi everyone! My name is Lucy Hall, a member of Novia! I was born and raised in Durango, Colorado and am about to graduate from Animas High School! A huge part of my school year has been completing a “senior project”. This capstone project, which all seniors at Animas complete, is an independent study which includes 3 main parts: A thesis paper, action project, and TED Talk.

As our class was starting the process of choosing research topics I knew I wanted to base mine around something involving women in the outdoors. At the same time this was happening, Ellie (my Novia team member) had reached out to me and told me that she and Masie (another of my Novia team members) had started to create Novia to “inspire young female athletes through skiing”. I immediately jumped right on board because I knew that this would also be a perfect segue into my personal project for school! I wanted my topic for my personal project to be connected to Novia’s idea but not the same; I ended up choosing my research question to be “What are the barriers for women in skiing?” This way I could really figure out the reasons that we were needing to inspire women in the first place and also how to guide our movie to fit with the research behind it.

Through my research I narrowed down the boundaries women face to the two I found to be most apparent, which I named 1. “embedded sexisim” meaning slurs, comments and views of women and 2. “media coverage” including magazine coverage, movies, and social media. Being a female skier in this industry I have been exposed to these things myself, maybe just on the less extreme side of things, so it was super interesting for me to dig into some of the research.

As a Novia team we were working daily on the movie project. We all had a different role to play as we figured out all the details and worked to make it all happen. Because I was also doing all this research independently I decided it would be a good job for me to use some of this to create some interview questions and conduct some of my own interviews for the movie. I ended up talking to Sarah Tescher, Anne Chase, and Ashley Carruth who are not only some of the raddest ladies I know, but who are also huge role models and mentors in my life. Although they are not a part of the free ride community anymore, they still had so much useful knowledge to share that fit perfectly aline with the idea of mentorship and women in the outdoors.

What was interesting for me though is once we started to conduct interviews I started to see all of this research I had done come to life. Sarah, Anne and Ashley each spoke to the importance of mentorship in developing more than just skiing and mountain biking skills, but life skills as well- really, how to be a good human in this world! I could write forever on the importance of their words, but I'll spare you the time of reading and let you hear just a little bit of their thoughts in the short clips linked bellow.

Clip one: interview segment with sarah answering the question of “Do you feel it's important to have all women groups?”

Clip two: interview segment with Ashley answering the question of “Do you think the media has had an impact on female confidence in the outdoor community?”

Clip three: interview segment with Anne answering the question of “do you think your career path would be different if you didn't have the female mentors you had growing up?”

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