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Advancing Women in Snowsports

The first Advancing Women in Snowsports committee (AWS) report is now available!

The report covers 2020 as well as the 2021 season and includes analysis from the diversity and inclusivity survey conducted at the end of last season.

The Advancing Women in Snowsports partnered with the APSI Board to deliver this first survey to examine our members' experiences within our industry and the wider Snowsports community. The AWS report also covers the initiatives undertaken over the last two seasons and looks towards 2022. We are excited about the future for women in snowsports!!

To read the report, please click on the button below: 

Advancing Women in Snowsports Report 20/21

AWS Report

Education | Inspiration | Interaction

The ski industry is undoubtedly male-dominated. Throughout Australian ski resorts, there is a considerable lack of female presence and inspiration, not only for up-and-coming instructors but also across all snowsports disciplines. Thanks to Richards' comments, the 2020 Trainers Coordination was a catalyst in which current female APSI trainers decided the formation of a committee was needed. We wanted to help further the participation rate and presence of female members throughout the snowsports industry, APSI instructors, and trainer pathways. 

Following the Trainers Coordination, every female trainer, only 16 in total, across all disciplines worked together through a series of Zoom conferences discussing gender issues, industry, and brainstorming ways to create change. The result was the idea of creating a committee to address gender equity within the APSI specifically.

Throughout this process, the "Advancing Women in Snowsports" (AWS Committee) was born. The five women voted in from the eight women who nominated were:

  • Angela Pope - Chairwomen, Alpine Representative, Thredbo
  • Shauna Rigby - Alpine Representative, Thredbo
  • Jane Scheer - Nordic Representative, Perisher/K7
  • Bobbi Kelly - Alpine Representative, Perisher
  • Chloe Gaffey - Snowboard Representative, Perisher

The inaugural members have agreed to sit upon the AWS committee for a 2-year term before the first renomination period. Working closely and collaboratively with the APSI Board over the 2020 season, we developed a set of Terms of Reference and a framework that the future AWS committees could use to foster gender equity. Therefore, from 2022, the composition will change to include a minimum of two (female) APSI Members: non-trainers or members not employed in a training capacity by the APSI. This inclusion will allow for greater diversity and having all voices heard. More details on how you can get involved as a committee member will be forthcoming over the following year. 

If you would like to know more, please don't hesitate to get in touch at aws@apsi.net.au

Our Vision is an APSI that actively promotes the role of women and creates opportunities to empower females to participate and pursue a career in Snowsports Instruction.  Our mission is to implement and sustain long-standing initiatives within the APSI that promote equitable opportunities for women across all areas. The AWS, along with the female trainers, have formed an approach to allow for change to occur within the APSI. 

The Three Pillars

The AWS has developed the following Three Pillars for action, 

Education, Inspiration, Interaction

The Three Pillars will underpin AWS strategy and the following examples are: 

AWS Three Pillars

We need valuable role models of diversity - not only women but older instructors, Indigenous & Torres Strait Islander Peoples, and people of colour within the APSI. The APSI "Advancing Women in Snowsports" committee is just the start of what should be a cultural shift towards representation, diversity, and inclusivity in our organisation.

Over the Summer, the AWS committee, in collaboration with the APSI Board will further analyse the data and will be developing an action plan to put in place.  These will be announced at the next Trainers Coordination in Winter 2021 and published soon after here on the website.  Look out for social media posts over the summer as we delve into the survey results to listen and hear members thoughts and opinions and their contributions to our industry.  We welcome all participation and involvement from all APSI members and can be reached at aws@apsi.net.au

Angela Pope, Chairwomen, on behalf of the Advancing Women in Snowsports Committee

Introducing the Advancing Women in Snowsports Committee Members

AWS Committee Jane

Hi, I'm Jane Scheer, I live in Jindabyne and am a passionate Nordic skier of some 25 years. I actively compete in citizen cross-country marathons and the annual Masters' World Cup competitions conducted in various locations in Europe, the USA, or Canada during the Northern Winters.

I became a Nordic Instructor and APSI member seven years ago. Since then, my instructing role has increased dramatically, and I have successfully created and been running Masters’ Nordic skiing skills improvement programmes for the last four years. These have seen extensive participation by women. Since late 2019, I became the Managing Director of the K7 Ski School.

Other highlights of my instructing career so far are selection onto the APSI Demo Team (Nordic), attending Interski Bulgaria in 2019, and of course, being voted to represent female APSI members on the AWS Committee. I put my hat into the ring of the AWS because I am passionate about increasing the participation and opportunities for women in the APSI and the snow-sports industry in general and believe that this will help grow the sport of Nordic skiing here in Australia too.

AWS Committee Bobbi

Hi, I’m Bobbi Kelly, I was fortunate enough to grow up ski racing in my home resort of Perisher. I have my Level 4 APSI and am a Level 2 Trainer for the APSI. In addition, I’m a race coach at PWSC and am a guide for the Australian Para Team.

I'm passionate about gender equality in sports. I’m currently in a program with the Australian Institute of Sport working with Diverse Women in high-performance sport, learning about increasing opportunities for women in sport and helping overcome barriers. I joined the AWS to help champion and enhance women to reach their full potential and excel within themselves.

AWS Committee Shauna

Hi, I’m Shauna Rigby. I am an experienced Alpine trainer with the APSI and ski instructor based in Thredbo, New South Wales, and have been involved with the ski industry since I left school in 2010. Through 17 winter seasons, five certifications and re-sit exams, multiple injuries, and one INCREDIBLE Interski adventure, I have had my fair share of experiences. Still, there is nothing I love more than being a part of the alpine community and being lucky enough to provide memorable ski experiences for my clients, both old and new.

However, despite the positives that come with the job, it has not always been a smooth journey. The international ski industry, like many other industries, still needs to make further progress in improving gender equality, inclusiveness, and respect for the contribution of women.

I am honoured to be a voice for both women and men on this committee and use my passion and experience to support the snowsports industry to create a better, more inclusive, and supportive place for current and future professional female athletes. My hope is the Advancing Women in Snowsports committee will help to nurture, educate and, importantly, create an opportunity for all to enjoy each step of the way through their snowsports journey. Here’s to a bigger and brighter future for the snowsports industry!

AWS Committee Chloe

Hi, I’m Chloe Gaffey. My home resort is Perisher, but now I live in Whistler, Canada so Whistler Blackcomb is my second home. For me, it’s been ten years in the industry, but I feel like I haven’t worked a day. Snowboard has also been my primary discipline, but I’ve found that skiing and snowboarding can complement each other, so why not work at both?! There are many highlights of my career, but a favourite would have to be working with Camp Quality and Perisher to coordinate the Undefeated Rail Jam 2017, 2018, and 2019. Not only memorialising a fellow instructor but raising funds for charity and providing Camp Quality families with snow play experiences.

For me, female supervisors and trainers have demonstrated career possibilities that were previously considered improbable and have inspired me to build on their achievements. This has turned my gap year into an amazing gap decade. When I joined APSI as a snowboard trainer in 2018, I sat at a table of all the snowboard trainers APSI currently had. There might have been about 15 of us at the table that day, and as I looked around, including myself, there were three females total. Although I was still absolutely ecstatic to be there, I’m proud to now be a part of the AWS team to hopefully inspire a shift in that statistic. Snowboarding and skiing every day, loving what I do, it just doesn’t get better. So with the opportunity to share this passion with those new to the industry comes the opportunity to support and develop women. What a privilege!

AWS Committee Angela

Hi, I’m Angela Pope. I started in the snow industry well over a decade ago but only decided to become an instructor with the APSI in 2013. I am a Level 3 APSI trainer for Alpine but have race coach, telemark, park & adaptive certifications too. I fell in love with this industry and believe everybody, regardless of gender, age, race, or background, should have the opportunity to reach their full potential, whether it be achieving their level 2 or 4 or enjoying the sport without discrimination. Women in sports are the minority, which is symptomatic across a wide range of industries, not just ours. We can do more! We can do better! I believe that the equal partnership between women and men is foundational to strong communities and societies. I speak with my fellow AWS Committee members when I say I am so excited and inspired for the future in which men and women can build one another up and allow everyone to aspire to reach new heights. I want to ensure the pathways for future females in the snow sports industry remain at the forefront of the APSI’s objective and feel privileged to be given the opportunity to advocate for this.

 

AWS Trainer Networking Sessions 

AWS Female Trainer Networking Session - 10th June 2021

AWS Committee Terms of Reference

Link to Terms of Reference