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Episode 23: How Women Are Trending With Jen Gurecki

Updated: Jan 19, 2022

Jen Gurecki, CEO of Coalition Snow and Editor of Sisu Magazine, chats with us about how women are trending, her return to her journalistic roots, and a recent controversial study on diversity in the outdoors.

Follow Jen: @yogurecki


episode transcript

Lisa: What's up, all you marketing managers and brand managers and writers and creatives. Welcome to the podcast. This is your host Lisa Slagle, owner of Wheelie Creative, a creative agency for people who thrive outside. What is going on today? I am recording this podcast from the UP of Michigan. I'm sitting in a parked camper, posted up next to some free Wi-Fi and it's raining really hard. So I hope the sound isn't too bad in this coming podcast. I’m on a work-cation which is something that we do at my company Wheelie three weeks out of the year. You can still work normal hours but work from wherever you want. So it's my turn and I went to the UP like a Yooper, eating a lot of pasties, which is a largely meat-eating tradition up here, but I'm finding some delicious veggie ones and also had to make my own. So I'm making it work.

But anyway, today on the podcast I have the honor of talking to my friend Jen Gurecki. She is the CEO of Coalition Snow and she's also starting a print magazine called Sisu. So she is a badass, if you don't know Jen Gurecki, you should. She's one of the smartest human beings I have ever met. She’s outspoken. She's thoughtful. Jen is one of my favorite human beings and I am just so happy every time I get to talk to her. So I think you're going to like this episode because Jen doesn't hold back and she talks about testing society and what it means to be a woman right now and how women are trending and the SIA diversity report, that's fascinating. So tune in for that. You're going to want to know what the SIA diversity report reported. It's pretty interesting. And I think Jen is not scared of hard work. She's not scared of testing herself and her limits and seeing what Society thinks of it and Jen's amazing. So I think you're going to love this episode. Enjoy.

Lisa: Hey Jen. Thanks for being here today.

Jen: My pleasure.

Lisa: So the first question we always ask everybody is to describe their setting and tell us where you are.

Jen: This is... this is not going to be impressive at all. I am sitting on my bed in a closet because that's where I sleep. I turned the one bedroom in my apartment into the office for Coalition, which forced me to put a double mattress in a closet. So I'm sitting there right now because there's somebody in the Coalition office shipping skis and snowboards right now. So yeah, I'm hanging out in the closet.

[both laugh]

Lisa: I recorded a podcast a few weeks ago sitting in a closet on top of a bucket.

Jen: Oh nice. That's a... that's an added element of adventure with the bucket.

Lisa: Yeah.

Jen: I'm got pillows and everything. I'm cozy. I'm like pillows, I got my blanket up on me. So I'm definitely cozy but it's not... it's not the luxurious life that you think I'm living here.

Lisa: I really enjoy this because it is like the reality behind the like hashtag lady boss and Entrepreneurship is like no, I'm living in a closet.

Jen: Totally. It's like, I'm living in a closet and I ate carrots sticks and fake chicken nuggets for lunch. Okay, so that's yeah, that's what's happening.

Lisa: Wow, like the non meat chicken nuggets?

Jen: Yeah, they're like the spicy buffalo ones and then I take blue cheese and I mix it with a little bit of hot sauce. And it's... that's what I do. Yeah.

Lisa: That's what... that's what CEOs do I hear.

Jen: Yeah, totally. That's how we roll.

Lisa: The lunch of champions.

Jen: Totally.

Lisa: So a lot of our listeners just for your background info are like editorial, like definitely a lot of journalists and photographers and creatives. So that's who you're talking to you this whole time.

Jen: Okay.

Lisa: And you're really awesome for our audience in that you own a ski company, Coalition Snow, which is amazing. And you probably talk to editorial folks all the time doing ski demos and everything like that. So I think you'll have a lot of really valuable things for our audience.

Jen: I hope so.

Lisa: So how did you start... how did you start a ski company as a snowboarder? And as a person just how... I don't even know how you ended up starting a ski company.

Jen: Well, we do make snowboards to so that's important to note. So we are a ski and snowboard company, but very fair question of how does a snowboarder even get into skis and I would say that it was probably the best and worst decision I've ever made in my life. To do this. Because it is really hard. I mean just everything that you think about is difficult, but I was out on a Backcountry ski trip. I was on my splitboard, there were skiers, and we were just talking about what was happening in the industry and going on with women. And things were starting to feel like they were changing a little bit. So we were just talking about the representation of women in media, the way that they were being portrayed through photography, and it just sort of created this larger conversation about what would be a way to really shake up the industry. And also for forever we've known that women just need to have more choices when it comes to... when it comes to their equipment. And when we were having this conversation six years ago, like this was way before the whole, you know, hashtag shrink it and pink it and Lady boss, like ski and snowboard companies weren't having these discussions about women. And so it was really, like, we were really one of the first people to do this and say like, let's... let's like, see what we can make happen. It was really sort of a test. Like we were testing society to see if they would accept women who were manufacturing skis and boards, like what would happen in the industry, how would people receive us? And so I think I went into it pretty naively not really realizing, like, what it could become, and now here we are five years later and you know, we've added another Ski and Snowboard to our lineup and we're in Powder Magazine and you know... its the first week of September and like tons of people are reaching out to us. So it's kind of exciting and then also a lot of work. But in terms of being able to design skis and snowboards, you know, I don't do this by myself. So there's a lot of people who are involved. We have a ton of women who test our prototypes we've got Builders who are just incredible who've been building skis and snowboards for decades. So it really is this collaborative team process, and I'm by no means. Sort of like a ski or snowboard expert as much as I really understand how to bring people together to create an end product that is super high quality and meets meets the demands of what women are looking for.

Lisa: I like that. You said that you were testing society?

Jen: Yes.

Lisa: That's amazing and hilarious. And how did how did that go? It was obviously well received because you've kind of met some growth over the last five years, but also, you know, how did that... how’s that journey been?

Jen: Well, yeah, it's actually really interesting because when we first started no one cared, no one cared. So this once again, this is before... like women are so popular right now and we're trending and there's a million hashtags. This was way before all of that, right? So definitely when we started most people thought we were going to fail. They didn't see a need or a market or you know, like like why are we doing it? But what... but what really sort of allowed us to exist is that women got it, right? So it would be like, you'd have a lot of dudes scratching their heads being like I don't get it. What's the problem? And I'm like, okay, we don't need to have this conversation. Like, we're cool, like I'm gonna go talk to the women over here who understand why we want better gear. And so the changes that we've seen are because women have really pushed for that change. And so now we're in this completely different time where you have panels and keynotes and campaigns and all of these different things around women and now we're moving into discussions around diversity, equity, and inclusion. So we've seen a ton of change. So I think that we started at the right time and I guess that hunch was was right, but it's definitely helping us now and I will take advantage of it for sure.

Lisa: When do you think women became popular?

Jen: Like, I don't know... don't... don't you feel like everyone started to really like us like two years ago?

Lisa: Yeah, it felt good.

Jen: Yeah, like for the first time people were really paying attention to us and like, oh we should... we should like talk to these women about what they're doing or whoa... There's like... these women kind of know what, you know, what's going on. Like I feel like everything changed in the last... maybe it was three years ago. I don't know. But everything... Everything's different now. So I mean, what's your take on it? Do you feel like things have changed a lot?

Lisa: Absolutely. Absolutely. I think the whole reason that I know you by the way, I don't even know if you know this, is I wrote some type of article that was on Teton Gravity Research and you wrote a positive comment on it. And... and this was like probably five or six years ago. And then I clicked on your name and I was like, whoa Coalition Snow, you know, and that's how I found out. But you wrote something wildly supportive when I felt like because I wrote an article about women and women’s gear and you wrote something really nice.

Jen: Oh.

Lisa: Yeah.

Jen: Oh, I actually did not know that that's how we met. But I'm happy to hear that story. Awesome.

Lisa: Yeah!

Jen: I don't even remember writing this, that sounds like something I would do, like I definitely troll some of those forums and look for ways to contribute positively into the world because they're often times just ripe with just, like, negativity. So... and then particularly like when women are doing things. You do need to get each other's backs for sure. But oh, that's cool. I didn't know that.

Lisa: Yeah, it was totally random and you wrote, “Lisa Slagle is brilliant.”

Jen: Oh! I'm so smart to know this…

Lisa: And then I was like who wrote that, come on, and then I was like, she owns a ski company! So that's that's how I first learned about you.

Jen: Awesome.

Lisa: Isn't that nice?

Jen: It is really nice and it's really, like, I feel like the way that we've been able to build our friendship and build friendships and relationships with a lot of other women in the industry iss because the industry's been responsive to women too. So like I feel like we're the ones who sort of like pushed it but now you go to Industry events and and women are just so much more supported than they ever have been, although we're still, like, I'm no fool. We're not there yet, but it is a lot better than it used to be.

Lisa: Yes. And I left OR like a few years ago just like so depressed and sad because I was trying to like go talk to people about business and - and then you know, I wasn't being well received. And like one guy asked if I wanted to model at his Booth for the whole day. Like he's like, oh, why don't you sit here and try to bring people into the booth? And I was like ew. You know, and like, just... just kind of like the... the transition that I've seen about how women owned businesses and... you know, just ladies showing up at big trade shows and things is like so different. So I think that's exciting.

Jen: It is exciting. Absolutely.

Lisa: It's exciting and also, you know, I think just like everything is evolving, you know, you've gone from this ski and snowboard company to being voted... what did Powder Magazine call you, the Beyonce of the ski world?

Jen: We did get called that last year. Yes. That is pretty rad. I have to say, like, I feel like that's going to stay in my signature forever. Because when, ever, would like, something you've done and Beyonce be put in the same sentence. Never! That's never happened to me, ever.

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Lisa: Now you yourself returning kind of an editorial direction as well. Right? So now you're opening... you’re starting a magazine.

Jen: We are starting a magazine. Yes. Already proving to be more challenging than we thought but I think that's like my M.O., like let's just pick really hard things and do it. Yeah, we decided to start this magazine for a lot of reasons and we filed a trademark. We got everything dialed and then a few weeks ago I received an email from the Girl Scouts of America. So the Magazine's name was Scout and the Girl Scouts decided that they were going to issue a cease and desist. Sat on that email for a while, spent more time, like, looking through the interwebs around how to deal with these sort of things, learned a whole lot of horrible things about like I was lucky that the Girl Scouts came after us and not the Boy Scouts. You know, ultimately they said that they own anything that has to do with the outdoors and the word scout. And so even though they don't have a trademark for Publications and which potentially could have fought it. You know, my... one of my rules in life is don't fight with little girls. Rule number one, don't be don't be that woman who fight... Okay, and then oh, I'm pretty sure the Girl Scouts of America have a lot more money than we do. So, decided that we were going to change the name and you know, this is one of those those things of you really start to question. Do we even want to do this? Like we haven't even put out the first issue yet, and we're already getting cease and desists? Holy shit. So, Spent a lot like spent a weekend just really thinking about it and and thinking about like a new name because we thought Scout was so perfect. And so at like midnight, because I do a lot of like wake up in the middle of the night and do work because my phone turned off. And so I was like, oh, let's Google words for the outdoors. And so I end up on this Outside Magazine post from 2016 where it's a list of just foreign words that are related to the outdoors. And I was like kind of looking through them, so many were difficult to pronounce or too long or didn't really have the right meaning and then I landed on sisu. S-I-S-U. And it's a Finnish word and it embodies the spirit of perseverance, guts and Grit. And I was like Wow. And it had a good response. So we went with it. So yeah, now the magazine is called Sisu and the first issue is going to be out the first week of December and we're super excited. We've got some really incredible people involved in the first issue - Julie Brown, who was the editor at Powder Magazine, Jenny Brusso from Unlikely Hikers, a ton of cool people, so we're doing it. It's happening. It’s exciting and totally overwhelming and terrifying all at the same time.

Lisa: You're doing it.

Jen: Yeah.

Lisa: I love it. Okay, so sisu - that is a really cool word. It kind of looks like a logo just by itself.

Jen: Mmm. It does.

Lisa: So that's exciting, you’re not fighting a single little girl.

Jen: Nope. We're not we're not fighting with little girls. We have a unique name that means something really cool and means something to us, right. So I think for me, getting into this editorial side and thinking about creating content, it has to be real and it has to be something that you can really speak to time and time again, and so the word, like the entire concept is... I just feel like, like I said is like, my entire existence on this planet. So I'm really excited to be able to use that as a guiding theme of a lot of the stories and artwork and photography we'll have in each issue.

Lisa: So why did you decide to start a magazine which is a tremendous amount of work and also kind of a crazy idea, which I support.

Jen: Oh, thank you. I like that last part that you support it. It is crazy. Okay, it's definitely crazy. Why do we decide to do it? Well, we have... at Coalition Snow, we've been creating content for quite a while. So we have a podcast called Juicy Bits. We have this Lady Parts website and newsletter that goes out, so we've been writing and creating and then I do a lot of public speaking as well. So there's been this... content creation has been pretty big for us. And we've come to recognize that a lot of human beings feel connected to us because of the content that we create. Obviously. There's a huge draw for people who love to Ski and Snowboard but above and beyond that like we have this message and we have this mission that is really quite different from a lot of other Ski and Snowboard companies. And really just sort of like companies in general. So we sort of, like, knew that, and then we did… we conducted a pretty large study in the... in the spring of everybody who was on our email list and really asked them, like, how is it that they engage with us? And what is it that they would want from us? And the interesting thing. This is… and this is like crazy to me - sixty percent of the people who responded to our survey have never bought anything from Coalition and they may just subscribe to our newsletter to read it, to read the content.

Lisa: Oh, really?

Jen: Yeah. Yep, so you see something like that and you're like, okay, we have all these people who are aligned with our brand and actively participate - I mean, we didn't even give anything away for people - there was no gift cards or anything for people to participate in the survey and we had hundreds of people respond. And to get that kind of data out of it that the majority of people who are highly engaged with your brand have never bought anything and don't plan on it and they only hang out with you because of the content that you create is really significant. So that was a really big piece and then it's always been in sort of like the larger Coalition plan to actually create content and we... like, when I think back to some of my earlier like vision around where the company would go, I thought that we would do a lot of content online. It feels... and this is, you know, call me crazy. Check my... what, I don't know, like, it feels like print is sort of making a comeback and that people... like, we only want to spend so much time on our devices and there's something beautiful about this tangible product that is, you know, luxurious paper and incredible photography and art and something that you want to keep on your coffee table and look at. And that is a fundamentally different experience than reading a story online. So we've decided that we want to push through with the print magazine to just create something that is beautiful and interactive versus just content on a website. So that was really what drove that, was more like the artistic vision and we'll see. I mean, we'll give it a shot and see how it goes to have a print mag. And ideally it works out and if it doesn't we'll just figure it out. Like we figured everything else out for all these years.

Lisa: Do you intend to also have a digital magazine as well or are you going straight print?

Jen: We'll do a digital magazine too that you can subscribe to, it won't be... it won't be free content because one thing that we're trying to do and... and I think people will really appreciate this, is we don't want to create a magazine that has full page ads on every other page. You know, like, you look at so many magazines now and you're really just... you know, the content is really thin and it's just a lot of advertisements and quite honestly that's like just a waste of paper and it's not engaging at all. So the way that we're actually going to make the magazine buyable is through subscription and through sales. And so will have the print version and then we'll have an online version that you can download and then a little bit of content on the website, but we're not going to have this full blown website with all the content because then why would you buy the magazine, right? If you can just read all of it. So that's sort of the business side behind it. And like I said, we'll just see, like, we'll see how it goes. We'll see how people receive it. I know that it's going to take getting out, you know, we have to get out one or two issues for people to really understand what it is that we're trying to do. So going into this first one. It's going to be like more more difficult. I hope this is more difficult than what it is moving on. But ideally people like it, that's... we're going for, we're going for people liking it. That's what we're hoping to achieve.

Lisa: I think that's great. I think people will like it.

Jen: Yeah.

Lisa: And I think too, like with podcasting. It's not something that you'd like scroll and you flip through like, there's a certain amount of intention that comes with listening to a podcast. Which is the same thing with print with a print magazine that you actually pay for. You know, you want to sit there and spend time with it and like that's kind of like your break from reality. And do you miss... were you obsessed with like ski and snowboard magazines as a kid or a teenager? Like were you into that?

Jen: I wasn't obsessed with ski and snowboard magazines as a kid because quite honestly I didn't even start, I didn't get into the sport until I was 16 years old because my family never went. But I've actually always been a fan of magazines and little known fact, I have a degree in print journalism. So that's kind of how obsessed I was with the written word is I went to school for it and have a degree that I really never put in to good use besides…. I mean, I write, I always write a lot. So this is sort of a for me a bit of a return to my roots and things that I was really excited about 20 years ago when I was in college. But yeah, I've always had like, you know, I'm the person who loves to go to the Indie book stores and buy up all the zines, and I keep stuff forever, and you know, I have... I have collections of magazines that have not... that have followed me from like house to house. It's a problem.

Lisa: Yeah, that's a really good problem.

Jen: Yeah.

Lisa: That's... that's amazing. You have a print journalism degree.

Jen: Yeah. That was my first degree and then I didn't... and then at the time, like the degree really focused on writing for newspapers and I'd done some internships as some newspapers and I found, like, I wasn't into it. I didn't like the culture and the scene and I don't know, I think I was also too young. I was 21 when I graduated from college so I was way too young to think about like really having this like career, but... I don't know. It wasn't right for me. So I didn't... I just kind of like moved more into the outdoor industry at that time and did a lot of guiding in my 20s. But yeah, like back in the day I used to take photos and develop my own film, like I had a dark room. So this is, I mean a print magazine is definitely sort of near and dear to my heart.

Lisa: That's so cool. You're just going back to… you’re kicking it old-school, kind of, but making it modern.

Jen: Yeah, totally.

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Lisa: That's also why your email newsletters are so good.

Jen: Yeah. I'm glad you think they're good because I feel like every time I sit down to write... to write one, I just think to myself good Lord do people want to hear from me again this week? I don't know, but then people email me back and I'm like, oh that people are reading it. Okay. Yeah, cool. But yeah, I love writing. I really enjoy it. I really enjoy it, and one of the things that's been super fun about starting the magazine is the people I've been able to interview. So we have other contributors to the magazine. It's not like the Jen Gurecki show. But there are a few people that I've sat down to interview and that is so rewarding to ask these incredible human beings questions and get to listen to them and then think about how you're going to tell their story. It's been really, really fun.

Lisa: Do you find that that's another reason you enjoy having your own podcast?

Jen: I think so. Yeah, and also because I love Gillian who is the co-host and she and I yeah, we just love each other to death and we have so much... it's fun. Like we have so much fun every time we go into the studio. And what I really like about it is that we always sort of think about what it is that we want to talk about, like what each episode is going to be and it gets us often times like talking at a much deeper level and just as friends to be able to sort of explore these bigger issues is... and then be able to record it and then share that with people is really cool. So yeah, the juicy bits podcast is really fun.

Lisa: And I like how you just kind of use creativity in general as a way of like playing with the world around you and like well, this is fun, so I'm going to do it and I like this, I'm going to do it. And then now let's do Society, like you're not taking it too seriously.

Jen: Yeah.

Lisa: Even though you tackle some pretty serious topics and subjects I would say, so I think yeah, I think there's an art to that. I don't know how you do it.

Jen: I don't know. I mean, I think that it's... there's a lot of things that I've let go of in my life that I think make this... makes it possible to do these things. Like I don't need stability or security. I've gotten really used to things, you know, one week things are up, another week things are down that can be really difficult to get used to. And when you’re starting creative projects or when you're a creative, I think that, you know, it's not like a paycheck comes, it's not like a nine to five thing. So I've gotten really used to that. I also just know that like life is too short to take anything that seriously, like we should all be professional and have pride in our work, but I've tried to not let sort of my ego get wrapped up in it. And and if something doesn't work or if people don't like it, like it's not about me, it's about the product and then I can just do something in a different way. And so that, I feel like really frees... frees me up to be able to try new things because I'm not afraid of the failure. And I'm not afraid of what people are going to think about it. And a lot of stuff that we do, like, some people like it and some people don't, like I get that. That's fine, you know but it is like to let go of like needing approval or have like thinking... or being perfect or you know, having like this like, like, a lot of stability and security just like I think allows you to be creative and and create.

Lisa: I think one of the most powerful sentences that I learned in business when I was like, you know, when I go after a new project or new person or something is I always try to use the phrase “feel free to say no, but...” blah blah blah and then you know, like showing that there's a detachment. And like yeah, you can say no and you can say yes, you can say no and like showing that there's a separation between kind of your ideas and how they land.

Jen: Exactly. Yeah, because it's not... I think a lot of times you get really hung up on doing things because we do make everything so personal and it doesn't need to be, you know. At the end of the day it's work and then also a lot of us... like what do we do? We're in the outdoor industry, like, we're not heart surgeons. You know, like we're not sending people to the moon. So I think it's just helpful to have like a bit of a reality check and not... not think that like what we're doing is like so important or has to happen or, you know, it's just part of... just part of something bigger. And it's yeah, it's like really... it's really awesome to be able to contribute to what I would say is like building this movement of supporting women and like the whole, you know diversity Equity inclusion conversation that's happening. And really being someone who can say like, well, here's the tangible things that we're doing to push this agenda forward without also thinking that like, it's 100% my job and I can't fail and... you know, like it's fun to be able to take things that are I think really challenging and life and can actually be really traumatic and find creative ways to approach them.

Lisa: Absolutely. Do you think that because women are trending right now that eventually men will be trending again? Men have always been really cool.

Jen: They have always been... like yeah, like some are really cool, some not so much. But there's... there's some good ones out there for sure. I don't… it’s interesting because like men are... well white men, and then we can take it one step further like straight white men, are like the pillar of normalcy, right? So they’re what everything is compared against. Women are trending but we also are still compared to men and I think like, when when we’ve realize true change, we're not going to use the straight white man as the metric for normal where everything is in opposition or against or different than, right. And so I think we have a lot of work to do because there's... we're popular but but women are not perceived to be the norm, humans are not perceived to be the norm, like, people of color and not perceive the be the norm. So we have a lot of work to do there. I don't know. I mean there's... something recently just happened that sort of shocked me and I don't know if you saw it. But SIA, Snow Sports industry of America just released their diversity report like two weeks ago and... Did you see it? Did you read it?

Lisa: I did. But go on.

Jen: Okay, I should... all right. I should have emailed you immediately. I read this fucking thing like 10 times over and could not make sense of what I was reading because I'm thinking diversity report. Okay. I'm going to hear about like women, people of color, LGBTQ, like, you know, I'm going to like read about these things. And how we're making progress or not across these areas. Instead, what I read was a report that it's incredibly unclear how it was how the survey was put together. Like what was the tool and what what was the sample size? Like it's really actually kind of difficult to understand that. But a report that reveals that white men do not feel represented by the snow sports industry. They don't feel represented by retailers, they don't feel represented by manufacturers, and women actually reported feeling more represented. Did you read it the same way? Am I crazy here?

Lisa: I did and I was like. Huh, huh.

Jen: Huh! I'm like… so what fucking world are we living in that white men think that the snow sports industry does not represent them. I mean, I don't care how much women are trending, if we did like a full on statistical analysis. There is no question in my mind that it would actually that men would still be. They would constitute more... more stories, more images, more products, more humans employed, more humans in Leadership positions. I mean across the board. To read that was shocking to me, because it what it actually said to me - and I have no proof in this, this is just my opinion on it - is that we actually are sort of regressing a little bit. Because either men are feeling so insecure or so unstable or their egos are so fragile that they don't feel represented which is a like full departure from reality. And I found that report to be shocking and I did share it with some other people, a phone call was made to SIA, they could not say how the report or how the survey was conducted. They also didn't even seem to understand that findings like that deserve some context. You know, like where was where was their stance of, Hey everyone we did this survey and we were really surprised to see this and this is... this is what we gleaned from it and here is how we, you know, here's how and as a member driven organization are going to address some of these findings because they are surprising.” There is zero context around it. So I'm like how do you create a survey like this, put it out into the world, which is, it’s kind of appalling and shocking and then not do anything about it. So that... that makes me feel like women are just a trend and that we really aren't making as much progress as we think we are. And that when, in terms of like engaging men as allies, which is, I don't think that's necessarily our jobs. I think that's like men to figure out how to how to be allies for us. Like I don't think that that's happening either. And that was disappointing. But yeah, that report shocked me.

Lisa: Yeah, that's pretty wild.

Jen: Yeah.

Lisa: And maybe you know, maybe men are just noticing that there is a shift away from them and they're not really sure what to do with that.

Jen: Right? And I think that's fair. I mean, I think that they're… I think it would be really fair for white men to say, I am seeing that the industry is also focusing on people who don't look like me or for the first time... but like, to think... to say that you're not being represented is just... like, where is... like, let's all exist in reality, please. So yeah, it's crazy.

Lisa: It is crazy. It is crazy. I think… like, just how the world itself is set up for dudes. Like, you know cars are ergonomically created for bigger human beings than most women are, and you know, like at our office, at Wheelie, we have like whiteboards hanging for shorter people and like, the guys have to squat down when they write on the whiteboards. And like it's kind of accidentally been ergonomically set up for women and I just find that fascinating. And like, I just don't know if that shift will ever... change, or like what... you know, how is society supposed to build cars? Like, for what body and whose body? And like, it's just such a strange, strange thing that manufacturers have to come to terms with and deal with and address. So yeah.

Jen: Well, it's also... I mean to your point, I mean I... that's one of the reasons why I don't even think unisex gear is even possible. I mean in a... in a world completely devoid of gender perhaps you could have unisex. But to think that there's not gender bias or that there's not certain preferences that particular human beings have based on their gender is like... that's going to infiltrate, like, everything from the design through the R&D through the marketing. I don't really see how you can be gender-neutral when we do not live in a society that is gender neutral and it's like gender this... it feels like there's a little bit of like a move towards gender neutrality in equipment. But I honestly think that that's just brands who are, you know, manufacturers who are trying to actually cut their bottom line because it's means one mold instead of multiple molds, you know, like... and then also, it's a... it's a way to address the issues of women without actually having to address them, it’s just an easy way out.

Lisa: Yeah, because molds and things like that are so expensive and like I get where brands are coming from but my God.

Jen: Yeah.

Lisa: Yeah, that's a big, big subject to tackle.

Jen: Mmm-hmm.

Lisa: At least, at least you're doing your part with Coalition.

Jen: Trying to, just doing what we can. Every damn day. Just a little bit here and there.

Lisa: Yeah, it's exciting though. When are you, when's your next speaking engagement? Because I always try to go to those. They're hilarious.

Jen: Oh, thanks, so I… we have an event here in Reno, Women as Changemakers on the 21st of this month. So I will be emceeing and then also speaking at that. And then at the end of February, I've been invited to give a keynote to down at June Lake which is right outside of Mammoth and it'll be around cycling across Africa as well.

Lisa: Wow.

Jen: Mmhmm.

Lisa: That's gonna be intense and amazing.

Jen: Mmhmm. I did, I did a mini talk... not last week but the week before an Ignite talk that was five minutes and I talked about the trip and managed to fit like all the big pieces in so I think I can actually do it in a way that like, I don't cry on stage and I don't come off super angry. Just a little angry. So I think that that's good.

Lisa: That’s really good. Yeah I’m excited. Is that Ignite one online yet?

Jen: No, it's not online yet, but it should be, so they did record it... and I don't even know, like I don't even know if it was good or not because I was one of the people to go later and a lot of people were drunk and then I like started like 10 seconds late. And so I was just like kind of thrown off a little bit. But, yeah, we'll see. But that should be going online soon and then I think the key note down in Mammoth... oh and I'm giving a keynote at the Tahoe Women's Fund in Lake Tahoe as well at the end of October. So lots of speaking stuff coming up, a couple panels, we’ll have some panels at outdoor retailer in November and January. So people should come check those out. Those are always fun. But yeah.

Lisa: Wow. Okay, cool. Well, yeah. Thanks for being here.

Jen: My pleasure. All right. I'll chat with you soon.

Lisa: You can follow Jen on Instagram @yogurecki and you can obviously follow Coalition Snow, subscribe to the Juicy Bits podcast, go to her public speaking events, and then obviously you're going to want to buy Sisu the magazine when it's available. So make sure you subscribe to all of these things. Her content is amazing, flawless use of commas. Which I'm a huge fan of. And the more Jen in your life, the better, believe me. Tune in next week as I talked to my friend Ash Bocast who is 50% of the amazing events company, This is Roam. She and her partner Andy are responsible for putting on Roam Bikefest, my favorite event that happens twice a year. It's my favorite event of the year twice a year, and I get to talk to Ash and Ashes. So tune in next week, and I'll talk to you then.

Ash: Oh my God. Can I tell you about the Walmart parking lot in Polson, Montana? Have you been to it? Because it is amazing. There's like a million dollar view out the back side. So as long as you're not there on a delivery night where they're delivering everything in the middle of the night... oh my gosh, like... maybe one of the best views we've ever had anywhere and it's like in the back of a Walmart parking lot in Montana. It's amazing. You can totally see the lake and it like sunset and all the colors and you're like up on this hill it's... yeah. A+ Walmart, A+.

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