The North Face: Changing the Face of Exploration
For over ten years The North Face has operated in Australia and New Zealand, working to bring the global vision of the brand to our local communities here. From the beginning, we have been committed to serving all those who desire to explore. At our core, we believe exploration creates an indelible bond with the outdoors, inspiring people to protect our land and pass these beliefs down to the next generation.
While we are committed to serving all those who desire to explore, we know that women can be under-represented and misrepresented in exploration. We realise the importance of supporting female participation in the outdoors, at both entry and elite levels. We have aspired to do this through our athlete team, our brand team and our community outreach.
Our Athlete Team
Our athletes are the DNA of The North Face. They are the ones pushing the boundaries of exploration, as we push the boundaries of innovation. We are honoured to support driven female athletes in Australia and New Zealand, and work with them to achieve their outdoor ambitions.
Right now we see Angie Scarth-Johnson, pushing to achieve her climbing goals in Spain, and at thirteen-years old, climbing at a level few others in Australia are climbing right now. We see Janina Kuzma competing in the halfpipe at the Pyeong Chang 2018 Winter Olympics, and then heading to the mountains in Fernie, British Columbia to pursue her big mountain passions. We see Anna Segal exploring the backcountry of Whistler, British Columbia, and premiering her recent film project focused on fear, Finding the Line.
We’ve seen an all-female ski crew head to Mt Taranaki on the North Island of New Zealand to attempt a ski-descent of the perilous peak. This project was pitched, planned and executed by team skier Janina Kuzma, alongside athletes Anna Segal and Evelina Nilsson.
In helping these elite athletes to achieve their goals in the outdoors, and in sharing their stories, we help to create the role models needed in Australia and New Zealand to inspire the next generation of female explorers.
Our Brand Team
Our brand is empowered and driven by our employees, athletes and customers. Each and every one of us gives life to its beliefs and values. It’s how we live the brand. It’s how the brand lives.
We nurture our employees by helping them develop professionally, and by offering events that connect them with our brand mission to enable exploration.
We know the importance of having an equal representation in our team, and support our team with flexible working arrangements to provide a healthy work-life balance.
“To best understand the needs of a diverse market, we need a diverse team. Over the last few years we’ve had a strong shift in our gender balance which is having an immediate positive impact on our work environment and our business results. It’s also the right thing to do.” – Paul Karis, The North Face General Manager, Australia & New Zealand
Our Adventure Grant
The North Face Adventure Grant has been a valuable way for our brand to connect with the female explorers of Australia and New Zealand. In 2017, Lucy Barnard from Brisbane, QLD was awarded the grant for her expedition to walk the length of the world. She is now a year into her journey, and we continue to support her, in what would be a world-first by a woman, upon completion. Starting from Ushuaia, Tierra Del Fuego she will continue north until she reaches Barrow, Alaska.
We choose one recipient for the grant each year, but also hand pick a few adventurers to support through gear sponsorship. We have had the opportunity to support an all-female ski-touring mission through the Tien Chen Mountains of Kyrgyzstan early this year, with a focus on climate-change and female-empowerment through the outdoors. We have supported Hayley Talbot, the first woman to solo kayak the 400km length of the Clarence River. We will continue to be on the lookout for females who are pushing the boundaries in the outdoors.
The North Face knows the importance that positive female role models play in the progression of women’s participation and storytelling in the outdoors. And we are out to change the face of exploration. For more than 50 years, The North Face has empowered people to push their boundaries in the outdoors. Today, we are enabling the future of all exploration by celebrating creators, athletes, educators, innovators. Relentless and unexpected explorers—role models who move mountains.