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2017 National Study on Women and the Outdoors

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2017 National Study on Women and the Outdoors

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THE SURVEY | Why We Did It
To better understand women’s relationship to - and attitudes toward - the outdoors and the external pressures they face, REI surveyed 2,010 women between ages 18 to 35 in the U.S. in January 2017. Demographic data was weighted to a nationally representative sample including age, race, education and geographic region.

THE HEADLINE | Women Say the Outdoors is Where They Feel Free
According to survey data, nearly 7 out of 10 women feel they are under more pressure to conform to social norms than men. They feel this pressure is coming from all directions. But, importantly, our research also showed that women see the outdoors as a way to escape these pressures.

KEY FINDINGS | What We Learned
Women face significant cultural pressures to conform. 7 out of 10 women believe that women are under more pressure to conform than men. Top pressures women hear include:
“Be sexy” – 73 percent
"Lose weight” – 72 percent
“Smile more” – 69 percent

The outdoors offers an escape from these pressures:
More than 85 percent of all women surveyed believe the outdoors positively affects mental health, physical health, happiness and overall well-being
Women who spend at least an hour a day outside on average feel happier, healthier and more equal to men than those who do not
74 percent see the outdoors as a place where they’re free from the pressures of everyday life
72 percent say they feel liberated or free when they are outdoors

But women still face barriers to getting outside:
Lack of time, accessibility (uncertainty regarding where to go and who to go with) and competing priorities are key barriers. Advancing in a career, furthering education and starting a family are considered just as important - if not more so - than spending time outside on a regular basis
Additionally, more than 6 in 10 women say that men’s interests in outdoor activities are taken more seriously than women’s, and that men are taken more seriously than women when shopping at a sporting goods stores

Women’s perceptions of themselves are surprising:
84 percent of women consider themselves at least “somewhat active,” yet only 32 percent describe themselves as “outdoorsy.” Even less – 18 percent – describe themselves as “athletic”
Less than half of women believe that women and men are equal in the outdoors, even though 74 percent believe women know just as much as men do about the outdoors
But women who spend time outdoors are more likely to feel: happy, adventurous, confident and fulfilled, and are more likely to feel equal to men across all areas of personal and professional life

Women desire more time outdoors:
73 percent of women are actively looking to spend more time outdoors
And, contrary to popular belief, 83 percent of millennial women say getting content for social media has no influence on their outdoor activities

THE SURVEY | Why We Did It
To better understand women’s relationship to - and attitudes toward - the outdoors and the external pressures they face, REI surveyed 2,010 women between ages 18 to 35 in the U.S. in January 2017. Demographic data was weighted to a nationally representative sample including age, race, education and geographic region.

THE HEADLINE | Women Say the Outdoors is Where They Feel Free
According to survey data, nearly 7 out of 10 women feel they are under more pressure to conform to social norms than men. They feel this pressure is coming from all directions. But, importantly, our research also showed that women see the outdoors as a way to escape these pressures.

KEY FINDINGS | What We Learned
Women face significant cultural pressures to conform. 7 out of 10 women believe that women are under more pressure to conform than men. Top pressures women hear include:
“Be sexy” – 73 percent
"Lose weight” – 72 percent
“Smile more” – 69 percent

The outdoors offers an escape from these pressures:
More than 85 percent of all women surveyed believe the outdoors positively affects mental health, physical health, happiness and overall well-being
Women who spend at least an hour a day outside on average feel happier, healthier and more equal to men than those who do not
74 percent see the outdoors as a place where they’re free from the pressures of everyday life
72 percent say they feel liberated or free when they are outdoors

But women still face barriers to getting outside:
Lack of time, accessibility (uncertainty regarding where to go and who to go with) and competing priorities are key barriers. Advancing in a career, furthering education and starting a family are considered just as important - if not more so - than spending time outside on a regular basis
Additionally, more than 6 in 10 women say that men’s interests in outdoor activities are taken more seriously than women’s, and that men are taken more seriously than women when shopping at a sporting goods stores

Women’s perceptions of themselves are surprising:
84 percent of women consider themselves at least “somewhat active,” yet only 32 percent describe themselves as “outdoorsy.” Even less – 18 percent – describe themselves as “athletic”
Less than half of women believe that women and men are equal in the outdoors, even though 74 percent believe women know just as much as men do about the outdoors
But women who spend time outdoors are more likely to feel: happy, adventurous, confident and fulfilled, and are more likely to feel equal to men across all areas of personal and professional life

Women desire more time outdoors:
73 percent of women are actively looking to spend more time outdoors
And, contrary to popular belief, 83 percent of millennial women say getting content for social media has no influence on their outdoor activities

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2017 National Study on Women and the Outdoors

  1. 1. REI’s2017 National Study on Women and the Outdoors
  2. 2. In January2017, REI Co-op set out to better understand women’s relationship to—and attitudes toward—theoutdoors andthe externalpressures they face.
  3. 3. WHO women 18 to35 U.S. HOW MANY WHEN HOW January 2017 20 minute online quantitative survey n = 2,010 demographic datawas weighted toanationally representativesample* METHODOLOGY *weighted demographics include: age, education,race, geographicregion This survey was conducted by Edelman Intelligence, anindependent international researchfirm
  4. 4. We heard from 2,010 women between ages 18to 35 in the U.S. The sample reflected women nationally across geography, raceandeducation.
  5. 5. 33% 32% 8% 19% 7% Graduated high school or less Somecollege Associates degree Bachelors degree Post-graduatedegree Age 18-25: 42% 26-35: 58% Ethnicity Education DEMOGRAPHICS Childrenin household Yes: 53% No: 47% Income <$50k: 60% $50k+: 33% 2% 1% 6% 15% 22% 58% Other American Indian or Alaska Native Asian/Asian American African American/Black Hispanic/Latino Caucasian/White
  6. 6. Here’s what we learned.
  7. 7. § Womensay the outdoors is where they feel free. § Nearly three-quarters of womenfeel they are undermore pressure toconform to social norms thanmen. § They feel this pressure is comingfrom all directions. § But,importantly,our researchalsoshowed thatwomen see the outdoors as a way toescape these pressures and they wantmore time outside. THE STORY
  8. 8. 72% of women say they feel liberated or freewhen they are outdoors.
  9. 9. This sense of well-being acts in sharp contrast to the pressures women face in daily life.
  10. 10. Almost 7 in 10 women believe women are under more pressure to conform than men.
  11. 11. “Stop being so dramatic” “Be sexy” “You should lose weight” “Don’t be so emotional” “You should smile more” 73% 73% 72% 71% 69% Social pressures are pervasive . . . Please select how muchyouagreeor disagree thateachof thefollowingstatements represents asocial pressure womenface today. (Top 2 box <Somewhat/Completely agree> reported)
  12. 12. . . .and that pressureis coming fromall directions 82% 74% 69% 69% 61% 56% 43% Society in general Social media Mainstream media Men Other women Family Friends
  13. 13. But the outdoors offers an escapefrom these pressures.
  14. 14. 69% 74% “The outdoors is a place to escapethe stressesof everyday life” “I feel happierwhen I’m outdoors”
  15. 15. Morethan 85 percent of all women surveyed believe the outdoors positively affects mental health, physical health, happiness and overall well-being.
  16. 16. Spending timeoutdoors positivelyaffectsmy . . . 75% 86% 86% 86% 87%MENTAL HEALTH PHYSICAL HEALTH OVERALL WELL-BEING HAPPINESS SPIRITUAL HEALTH
  17. 17. And women who spend at least an houra day outsideon average feel happier and healthier than thosewho don’t.
  18. 18. moretimeoutside = happier 68% 52% 51% 22% HAPPY ADVENTUROUS CONFIDENT 68% 52% 51% SPENDS ATLEAST1 HR. ADAY OUTSIDE ON AVERAGE (36% of respondents) SPENDS LESSTHAN 1 HR. ADAY OUTSIDE ON AVERAGE (64% of respondents) 55% 33% 36% Which of the followingadjectives would youuse to describe yourself? Please selectall thatapply.
  19. 19. moretimeoutside = healthier MENTAL HEALTH SPIRITUAL HEALTH PHYSICAL HEALTH 46% 45% 42% SPENDS ATLEAST1 HR. ADAY OUTSIDE ON AVERAGE (36% of respondents) SPENDS LESSTHAN 1 HR. ADAY OUTSIDE ON AVERAGE (64% of respondents) 37% 35% 27% How would you rateyour current overall…? (Top 2 box (Very good/Excellent> reported)
  20. 20. But women still face barriers to getting outside. Women don’t feel they’re taken as seriously as men in the outdoors and role models are hard to come by.
  21. 21. … andthat men are taken more seriously than women when shopping at a sporting goods stores. More than 6 in 10 women say that men’s interests in outdoor activities are takenmore seriously than women’s …
  22. 22. AND 6 IN10COULD NOT THINK OF AN OUTDOOR FEMALE ROLE MODEL. Topmentions among thosewho could included Serena Williams, Jillian Michaels and Michelle Obama. (While theabove women areincredible, they’redistinct from women like Lindsey Vonnor AshimaShiraishi)
  23. 23. Women’s appreciationforthe outdoors starts young—and startswithmoms.
  24. 24. More than any other woman or celebrity women cite their mother as their top woman role model (35%)
  25. 25. REMAIN ACTIVE TODAY CONSIDER SPENDINGTIME OUTSIDE A‘VERY HIGH PRIORITY’ 45% 42% HIGHLY ENCOURAGEDGIRLS* LESSENCOURAGEDGIRLS** Women whoweremoreencouraged to participatein outdoor activitiesas young girlsaremorelikelyto . . . 86% 26% 78% 11% *Women who were encouraged as younggirls to participateinoutdoor activities ‘all thetime/often’ **Women who were encouraged as younggirls toparticipatein outdoor activities ‘sometimes/rarely/never’
  26. 26. importance of “having excitement / adventure in yourlife” HIGHLY ENCOURAGEDGIRLS LESSENCOURAGEDGIRLS AND PLACE HIGHERVALUE ON ADVENTURE 64% 49%
  27. 27. 2x more likely toreport their mother was the one encouraging them 1.5x more likely toreport it’s important to them that their daughterhas a relationship with the outdoors Those who weremoreencouraged to spend timeoutside as young girls are. . .
  28. 28. Turns out thatbeing outdoors offersa lot of goodness all the wayaround. Feeling active Feeling free Feeling happy 61% 61% 60% PHYSICAL MENTAL EMOTIONAL Which of the followingdescribe howyoufeel whenyouare outdoors? Please selectallthatapply.
  29. 29. It’sno wonder that 73% say they would liketo spend even moretimeoutside.
  30. 30. learn moreat: www.rei.com/forceofnature

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