Mountain Equipment Company

Diversity, equity and inclusion

Diversity, equity and inclusion is fundamental to MEC’s culture. We’re committed to helping to increase equity in the outdoors and ensure staffers and members feel represented and free to be themselves. Here are just a few of the things we’re doing to help make sure MEC is a safe and inclusive space for everyone.

  • Representation in imagery: We heard from members who identify as people of colour letting us know how it feels to see themselves in MEC images; we also heard from many who are still waiting to be seen. We are committed to continuing to represent Black, Indigenous and communities of colour in our imagery.

  • Recognizing important days: We highlight significant dates with our staffers like International Women’s Day, Pride Month, and National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.

  • Unconscious bias training: In 2021, we introduced unconscious bias training and created community agreements (inclusive guiding principles for staff to accept in meetings, events and onboarding programs).

  • Truth and Reconciliation: MEC is responding to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC), specifically Call to Action 92. In our commitment to reconciliation, we agree to adopt and fully implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP). UNDRIP is a key instrument that sets out minimum standards for the wellbeing of Indigenous Peoples. MEC will apply its principles, norms, and standards to our corporate policy and core operational activities involving Indigenous Peoples and their lands and resources. We are working with Archipel Research, an Indigenous-founded and women-led organization, to further our own journey towards Truth and Reconciliation. This includes creating a new commitment, exploring community partnerships and programs, and increasing staffer education and training, to name a few.

  • Community support: Relative to our 35-year history of financially contributing to the outdoor community, we recognize that our contribution to Black, Indigenous, and people of colour-led outdoor initiatives should have been greater. We are working to change that. From 2018–2021, we actively focused on outdoor community investments driven by diverse organizations that support and lead programs for equity-seeking groups. In 2022, through MEC Outdoor Impact, we contribute to community initiatives, including co-developing grants available to BIPOC-led organizations; supporting DEI training within partner organizations; and directly funding programs to increase equity and make the outdoors a more inclusive place. The goal is to support meaningful change within iconic national outdoor groups.

  • Ambassador program: A team of ambassadors that lead by example and showcase diversity outdoors is powerful. We are committed to continuing to support and amplify outdoor athletes, leaders of colour, and those with diverse backgrounds so that everyone feels seen, valued and heard in outdoor spaces.

  • Increasing gender diversity: We introduced a Women in Leadership KPI to increase gender diversity in our leadership team. The result? 52% of women are in leadership roles, exceeding the industry standard by 12%.

  • Higher standards for accessibility training: In 2021, we launched accessibility training for staff (with a focus on store staff). Accessibility standards vary by province, so we continue to adapt and develop our training to help staff across Canada reach the highest standards.

  • Staffer toolkits: Our evolving collection of resources and training programs help staffers continue to learn from the lived experiences of others.

  • Respectful workplace signage: We’re committed to creating an environment free of bias or discrimination and our signage lets staff and members know that. If anyone observes actions inconsistent with this commitment, the signage asks them to contact the store manager or Member Service Desk.

  • Diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) consultant: We know that there is so much more to be done. In 2022, we’re recruiting a DEI specialist to support the build of our DEI roadmap for the future.