Our Pledge to Diversity

We have committed ourselves to the #DiversifyOutdoors Pledge to help ensure we are promoting diversity in outdoor recreation and conservation through our company here at Appalachian Bittersweet. Check out the Diversify Outdoors Mission here, and find our pledge below. 

The Pledge

(Inspired by the “The CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion™”)

In signing the Outdoor Industry CEO Diversity Pledge, I will help craft a specific set of actions for my company which will:

  1. Hire and support a diverse workforce and executive leadership.
  • This may include:
    • broadcasting job opportunities and internships to underrepresented populations in our workforce and executive leadership.
    • exploring diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) education for our teams.
    • building workplaces that enable challenging conversations about DEI.
  1. Present representative marketing and advertising in our media.
  • This may include:
    • Showcasing stories that break the mold of the “typical” outdoor user. Prospective consumers feel invited into the outdoors when they see themselves in stories, articles, cover photos, and marketing. In helping evolve an outdoor media landscape landscape that is overwhelmingly white, male, and able-bodied, we invite new users into the outdoors, and support those who are already there.
  1. Engage and support broadly representative ambassador and athlete teams.
  • This may include:
    • Supporting underrepresented voices and stories in the outdoors to provide the next generation a collection of role models who represent all backgrounds, and remind them that they, too, can excel and be welcomed in the outdoors. Our athletes and ambassadors represent the core values of our brand, which is why we support them with gear and funding to achieve their outdoor goals, and showcase them in our media.
  1. Finally, we will share our experiences with other leading brands.

By committing to The Pledge, we commit to establishing programs and initiatives around diversity and inclusion. In recognition of the greater outdoor community within which we exist, we will help other companies in their own paths to inclusive representation, and make ourselves open to real conversations about the challenges we face together.

We commit to sharing our progress with a representative from The Pledge Steering Committee to evaluate our progress towards weaving diversity, equity and inclusion within our brand.  We will track our own progress, share regular updates with the representative, and hold ourselves accountable to the goals we have set via the Pledge.

We will also support other outdoor brands in their pursuit of inclusion: by building a culture of collaboration, we enhance existing programs and commitments to better serve the greater outdoor community.

We recognize that the commitments above won’t solve our challenges overnight, but we believe they represent incremental progress toward building a more inclusive outdoor industry.  We hope this list of signatories will grow over time, and we invite other Outdoor Industry CEOs around the world to join us.

We believe the outdoor industry will reach its full potential when it represents everyone who goes outside. By committing to The Pledge and advocating for diversity and inclusion within our workplaces, industries, and broader business community, we create an outdoor landscape that includes and empowers everyone.


Melissa Hughes

Melissa Hughes, Owner

Appalachian Bittersweet


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