Women make up a disproportionately small number of avalanche educators in the U.S., and many women in the field find it difficult to grow and sustain their careers. The financial, sociological, and other barriers faced by everyone in the industry are often exacerbated for women. And those barriers can be even further amplified for BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) women, women with disabilities, mothers, and women who hold other historically marginalized identities.
For these reasons and more, AIARE is thrilled to launch the Women’s Mentorship Program for the 2021–22 season. This program, in partnership with title sponsor Rab, safety sponsor Mammut, and scholarship partners Scarpa, Arc’teryx and The First Ascent Foundation, is a three-pronged community-focused program that aims to break down the barriers for women in avalanche education. It features:
- Cohort-based mentorship opportunities for select applicants
- Scholarships for women on PRO 1, Instructor Training, & Course Leader Training Courses
- Three panel conversations featuring women in avalanche education and facilitated networking
We hope this is only the first step towards an ongoing strategy to support women who want to build, grow, or sustain careers in avalanche education.
Want to support the Women’s Mentorship Program? For a limited time, Mammut Barryvox S beacons will be available for sale in the AIARE online store. All proceeds will go towards the Women’s Mentorship Program. Grab yours before they’re gone!
AIARE Women's Affinity Courses
AIARE offered its first Women’s Affinity Instructor Training Course in February 2021. Six women successfully completed the course in Washington, and we were able to offer full scholarships to all participants. Through this effort alone, we were able to increase the enrollment of women on ITC courses to 35% (up from 28% the previous year). AIARE is excited to offer another ITC to 12 women this season.
AIARE will expand its women’s affinity programming with our first Women’s Affinity PRO 1 Course, offered to 12 women in Leadville in March 2022.
Both courses are currently full with a waitlist. Interested in applying for an all-women’s PRO 1 or ITC for the 2022–23 season? Sign up to be notified about scholarships and course application openings.
Avalanche Education Panel
AIARE will offer in-person events in Seattle, Lake Tahoe, and Denver this season where participants can connect and share experiences. Of course, participants’ safety is our top priority, so we’re holding off on announcing dates and details so we can accommodate the most number of people while still keeping everyone safe. Thanks for your patience with us in the face of ever-changing covid conditions, and please check back for updates!
AIARE Women's Mentorship Program - For Mentors
Experienced avalanche educators with a strong desire to support fellow women in building, growing, and/or sustaining an outdoor career are encouraged to apply to facilitate this new program to take place over five virtual sessions with a cohort of 4–5 mentees and one mentor during the 2021-22 winter season.
Women who hold intersecting identities such as BIWOC (Black, Indigenous, + Women of Color), disabled, trans, working class, or other historically excluded identities are strongly encouraged to apply.
Mentors will receive a pre-program training (scheduled for the evening of December 7; scheduling accommodations available upon request) and mid-season check-in facilitated by AIARE staff.
During the week of November 15, mentors will help grade mentee applications.
Mentors will be paid a stipend of $500.
Applications are DUE November 2, 2021 by 10pm MT.
AIARE Women's Mentorship Program - For Mentees
Aspiring, new, and experienced women avalanche educators are encouraged to apply to participate in this new program to take place over five virtual sessions with a cohort of 4–5 mentees and one mentor during the 2021-22 winter season.
A strong desire to learn and grow in community with fellow women is essential. Applicants should have a minimum of one season of experience as an outdoor and/or avalanche educator and at least two seasons of experience traveling in backcountry winter terrain.
Although AIARE instructors will be given preference in the application process, we encourage any and all women who meet the basic prerequisites to apply. Women who hold intersecting identities such as BIWOC (Black, Indigenous, + Women of Color), disabled, trans, working class, or other historically excluded identities are strongly encouraged to apply.
Applications are DUE November 15, 2021 by 10pm MT.