[dropcap size=small]I[/dropcap]t’s no secret that here at Misadventures we’re trying to shake things up in the outdoor and adventure-industry publication world. We founded Misadventures because, as travelers and outdoorswomen ourselves, we noticed that no magazine about travel, the outdoors, and adventure exists specifically for women. Overwhelmingly, both print media and online sites for women often remain confined within over-played, conventionally feminine spheres like fashion, dating, weddings, weight loss, sex tips, that sort of thing. And on top of that, most outdoorsy magazines and websites, rather than being gender-neutral, strongly skew toward a male audience.

We knew this from years of reading these magazines, but we’ve put together a report to quantify some of the representation issues that pushed us from merely wanting things to be different to actively trying to provide a quality venue for the work of women writers, journalists, and photo-journalists. Read on to see some handy charts from the most recent widely-circulated outdoor industry publications that prove our point.

How was this report generated? I scoured the pages of some of the latest magazines, cataloguing in four key areas:

(1) Staff List

This was taken from the Impressum, and it’s basically the list of people who work on the magazine. This section appears in the front of the book. In each “Staff” section below, I include which sections I considered (usually editorial, photographers, digital, etc.).

(2) Article Bylines

I looked at every article that included an author’s byline in each of the magazines. I did not look at photographer credits.

(3) Photographs and Illustrations

Basically, I considered at each individual photograph or illustration. If a man was the subject, I tallied the photograph in the “men” column. If a woman was the subject, I tallied the photograph in the “women” column. If there were multiple subjects, I tallied each of those subjects in their respective columns. If it was a photograph of a crowd of people, I chose the clear subjects (no more than five people) and tallied accordingly. Note: I did not include advertisements.

(4) Audience Demographics

I searched for the media kits for each of the magazines online to find their own reporting of the gender breakdown of their audience.

Other Notes

If a name or a photograph was ambiguously gendered (Taylor, Casey, Alex, Sam, etc), I tallied in the “gender-neutral” column.

This is an imperfect system of gauging representation, but it’s an attempt to cover the spectrum of who’s behind-the-scenes making the decisions about content (staff), who’s actually the voice of the magazine (bylines), who magazines are portraying as the face of their content (photos), and who’s reading (audience).

Spoiler alert: Bravo, Backpacker! We expected better, Outside. Get it together, surfing magazines.

Without further ado:
[divider]The Report[/divider]

Summer 2014 Women’s Representation in Outdoor Industry Magazines Report

Magazines included:
Bicycling, August 2014
Backpacker, August 2014
Outside, August 2014
Surfing Magazine, August 2014
Surfer, July 2014

In charts below, the blue represents men, the pink represents women, and the gold represents gender-neutral.

[divider]Magazine #1[/divider]

Outside Magazine

Outside: Staff

Includes Editorial, Art Photography, and Online

[wp_charts title=”Staff2″ type=”doughnut” align=”aligncenter” margin=”5px 20px” data=”80,8,18″ colors=”#007F86,#9F6E05,#7C5253,”]

Total Men: 80
Total Women: 18
Total Gender-Neutral Staff: 8

 

Outside: Articles With Bylines

[wp_charts title=”Bylines2″ type=”doughnut” align=”aligncenter” margin=”5px 20px” data=”17,2,4″ colors=”#007F86,#9F6E05,#7C5253,”]

Total Articles that include bylines: 23
Total Men in Bylines: 17
Total Women in Bylines: 4
Total Gender-Neutral Bylines: 2

 

Outside: Photographs and Illustrations

In images with multiple humans, main subject(s) chosen

[wp_charts title=”Photos2″ type=”doughnut” align=”aligncenter” margin=”5px 20px” data=”66,12,13″ colors=”#007F86,#9F6E05,#7C5253,”]

Total Photos Depicting Humans: 91
Total Images of Men: 66
Total Images of Women: 13
Total Images with Gender Neutral Figures: 12

 

Outside: Audience Demographics

[wp_charts title=”MediaKit3″ type=”doughnut” align=”aligncenter” margin=”5px 20px” data=”72,28″ colors=”#007F86,#7C5253,”]

Percentage Men: 72%
Percentage Women: 28%
Source: Media Kit

[divider]Magazine #2[/divider]

Backpacker Magazine

Backpacker: Staff

Includes Editorial, Art, Field Scouts, and Interns

[wp_charts title=”Staff1″ type=”doughnut” align=”aligncenter” margin=”5px 20px” data=”21,2,20″ colors=”#007F86,#9F6E05,#7C5253,”]

Total Men: 21
Total Women: 20
Total Gender-Neutral: 2

 

Backpacker: Articles With Bylines

[wp_charts title=”Bylines1″ type=”doughnut” align=”aligncenter” margin=”5px 20px” data=”18,1,16″ colors=”#007F86,#9F6E05,#7C5253,”]

Total Articles that include bylines: 35
Total Men in Bylines: 18
Total Women in Bylines: 16
Total Gender-Neutral Bylines: 1

 

Backpacker: Photographs and Illustrations

In images with multiple humans, main subject(s) chosen

[wp_charts title=”Photos1″ type=”doughnut” align=”aligncenter” margin=”5px 20px” data=”16,13,17″ colors=”#007F86,#9F6E05,#7C5253,”]

Total Photos Depicting Humans: 46
Total Images of Men: 16
Total Images of Women: 17
Total Images with Gender Neutral Figures: 13

 

Backpacker: Audience Demographics

[wp_charts title=”MediaKit2″ type=”doughnut” align=”aligncenter” margin=”5px 20px” data=”75,25″ colors=”#007F86,#7C5253,”]

Percentage Men: 75%
Percentage Women: 25%
Source: Media Kit

[divider]Magazine #3[/divider]

Bicycling Magazine

Bicycling: Staff

Includes Editorial, Cycling Test Group, Art, Online, and Contributors

[wp_charts title=”Staff” type=”doughnut” align=”aligncenter” margin=”5px 20px” data=”24,4,11″ colors=”#007F86,#9F6E05,#7C5253,”]

Total Men: 24
Total Women: 11
Total Gender-Neutral: 4

 

Bicycling: Articles With Bylines

[wp_charts title=”Bylines” type=”doughnut” align=”aligncenter” margin=”5px 20px” data=”21,6,11″ colors=”#007F86,#9F6E05,#7C5253,”]

Total Articles that include bylines: 39
Total Men in Bylines: 21
Total Women in Bylines: 11
Total Gender-Neutral Bylines: 6

 

Bicycling: Photographs and Illustrations

In images with multiple humans, main subject(s) chosen

[wp_charts title=”Photos” type=”doughnut” align=”aligncenter” margin=”5px 20px” data=”28,13,12″ colors=”#007F86,#9F6E05,#7C5253,”]

Total Photos Depicting Humans: 53
Total Images of Men: 28
Total Images of Women: 12
Total Images with Gender Neutral Figures: 13

 

Bicycling: Audience Demographics

[wp_charts title=”MediaKit1″ type=”doughnut” align=”aligncenter” margin=”5px 20px” data=”77,23″ colors=”#007F86,#7C5253,”]

Percentage Men: 77%
Percentage Women: 23%
Source: Media Kit

[divider]Magazine #4[/divider]

Surfing Magazine

Surfing Magazine: Staff

Includes Editorial, Photographers, Writers, Interns, and Digital

[wp_charts title=”Staff3″ type=”doughnut” align=”aligncenter” margin=”5px 20px” data=”108,15,4″ colors=”#007F86,#9F6E05,#7C5253,”]

Total: 127
Total Men: 108
Total Women: 4
Total Gender-Neutral Staff: 15

 

Surfing Magazine: Articles With Bylines

[wp_charts title=”Bylines3″ type=”doughnut” align=”aligncenter” margin=”5px 20px” data=”8,2,0″ colors=”#007F86,#9F6E05,#7C5253,”]

Total Articles that include bylines: 10
Total Men in Bylines: 8
Total Women in Bylines: 0
Total Gender-Neutral Bylines: 2

 

Surfing Magazine: Photographs and Illustrations

In images with multiple humans, main subject(s) chosen

[wp_charts title=”Photos3″ type=”doughnut” align=”aligncenter” margin=”5px 20px” data=”82,7,9″ colors=”#007F86,#9F6E05,#7C5253,”]

Total Photos Depicting Humans: 98
Total Images of Men: 82
Total Images of Women: 9
Total Images with Gender Neutral Figures: 7

 

Surfing Magazine: Audience Demographics

[wp_charts title=”MediaKit4″ type=”doughnut” align=”aligncenter” margin=”5px 20px” data=”77,23″ colors=”#007F86,#7C5253,”]

Percentage Men: 77%
Percentage Women: 23%

[divider]Magazine #5[/divider]

Surfer Magazine

Surfer: Staff

Includes Editorial, Writers, and Photographers

[wp_charts title=”Staff4″ type=”doughnut” align=”aligncenter” margin=”5px 20px” data=”87,10,4″ colors=”#007F86,#9F6E05,#7C5253,”]

Total Men: 87
Total Women: 4
Total Gender-Neutral: 10

 

Surfer: Articles With Bylines

[wp_charts title=”Bylines4″ type=”doughnut” align=”aligncenter” margin=”5px 20px” data=”11,1,0″ colors=”#007F86,#9F6E05,#7C5253,”]

Total Articles that include bylines: 12
Total Men in Bylines: 11
Total Women in Bylines: 0
Total Gender-Neutral Bylines: 1

 

Surfer: Photographs and Illustrations

In images with multiple humans, main subject(s) chosen

[wp_charts title=”Photos4″ type=”doughnut” align=”aligncenter” margin=”5px 20px” data=”81,8,11″ colors=”#007F86,#9F6E05,#7C5253,”]

Total Photos Depicting Humans: 100
Total Images of Men: 81
Total Images of Women: 11
Total Images with Gender Neutral Figures: 8

 

Surfer: Audience Demographics

[wp_charts title=”MediaKit5″ type=”doughnut” align=”aligncenter” margin=”5px 20px” data=”80,20″ colors=”#007F86,#7C5253,”]

Percentage Men: 80%
Percentage Women: 20%
Source: Media Kit

[divider]End of Report[/divider]

At Misadventures, we do not shy away from the bold irreverence of our mission to challenge the media’s current representation of women; we embrace it. We believe that the perceived dichotomy between adventure and “conventional” femininity is not only inaccurate, but does a disservice to the complex and multi-faceted identity of the modern woman. We hope that in our web pages (and soon our print pages), readers find intersections and stories to inspire their own indomitable spirit, a spirit that other publications too often fail to reflect and nourish.