When we selected the motto “Ski the Change,” we pledged to be a force for good. We adopted a business philosophy aimed at benefiting our employees, our visitors, and our community through social responsibility, environmental sensitivity, and economic sustainability.
We believe that we must be part of the solution when it comes to race equity and social justice and that the best way to have a positive impact is to act. While the world needs change on a global scale, we believe that beginning locally in our own businesses, communities, and homes is the best way to generate that change.
We commit to shining a light on inequity in the outdoor industry, by immediately implementing the following:
- Establish a philosophy to listen to underrepresented voices, to learn before we act, and to seek out diverse thinking, perspectives, knowledge, and experiences
- Accelerate implementation of equity-oriented best practices by digging in deeper with both B Lab and Camber Outdoors and advancing our learning
- Set goals that can be measured and monitored with respect to diversity, inclusion, and advancement in our workplace
- Identify social-justice-oriented nonprofit organizations to whom we will direct funding from our organization and partner groups
- Support businesses and organizations owned by people of color and hold our business partners and vendors accountable for anti-racist practices
Our Foundation for Action
At Taos Ski Valley, we have taken a number of steps toward a more just and equitable world, and we will build on this foundation. In the past few years we have taken intentional action to be more inclusive for our diverse community of employees, visitors, and neighbors. We value diversity because we value all people. We also know that shared perspectives from people with different lived experiences lead to new and better ways of acting for the common good. We are intentional about increasing the diversity of our staff and promoting equity in the outdoor recreation industry because doing so is right, and because it allows for richer experiences for staff and guests, as well as a greater connection to each other and this special place where we work.
Over the past five years, we have:
- Increased the living wage - As a continuation of our commitment to paying our staff a living wage, we have raised our starting pay for entry-level positions to $15 per hour, exceeding the living wage of $14.94 for Taos County as stated by the MIT Living Wage Calculator. We are also offering all staff 24/7 accident coverage up to $25,00 of coverage per accident and have increased staff housing in an effort to provide an affordable lifestyle for all Taos Ski Valley employees.
- Actively commiting to DEI initatives - In addition to requiring all departments to create DEI goals for their specific work, we have entered into partnership with Camber Outdoors to further our efforts.
- We have committed to the Workplace Anti-Racism Action Agenda
- All hiring managers are required to go through the Diverse Talent Pipeline Learning Sprint in order to activate systems of inclusive and equitable recruiting, hiring, and rentention to support and engage diverse pools of talent.
- All staff has access and is encouraged to go through the Building Blocks of DEI Series
- Reduced barriers to getting kids on the mountain
- Participated in the B Corp Leadership Summit - At the B Leadership Summit hosted in the ski valley, leaders from the Certified B Corporation community challenged each other on critical issues including white supremacy and climate injustice, which disproportionately affects people of color. We committed to both individual and collective actions to address these existential crises.
- Increased our workforce diversity – Our workforce currently self-identifies as 37% female and 35% people of color. We are committed to increasing these numbers.
- Adopted a living wage - Replaced the minimum wage for entry-level positions with a Living Wage as outlined by the MIT Living Wage Index. While the government’s minimum wage does not address minimum standards based on the local cost of living, MIT calculates the living wage based on the costs of the local community.
- Implemented pay wage equity – We completed a comprehensive assessment of all positions and increased salaries to ensure that people working the same position earn the same pay regardless of race, gender, or age.
- Implemented anti-bias training – We required all managers and supervisors to participate in training on anti-bias hiring practices with the goal of reducing discrimination and enhancing diversity in the ski valley.
- Joined Camber Outdoors – We partnered with Camber Outdoors, the national organization dedicated to supporting workplace inclusion, equity, and diversity in the active-outdoors industries, to deepen our learning and identify tangible ways to support a more diverse workforce.
- Joined B Lab Inclusive Economy Challenge – We participated in programs designed to analyze organizational practices and generate incremental improvements in the areas of inclusion and diversity.
- Joined a movement – On February 7, 2017, we became the world’s first certified B Corporation ski resort, thereby committing to the highest standards of transparency, inclusion, and respect for all. As a foundation for this commitment, we rewrote our bylaws to focus on our stakeholders instead of just our shareholders.
- Raised our minimum wage – We raised our minimum wage to $10/hour, well above the New Mexico minimum wage of $7.50/hour at the time. We also increased wages throughout the resort in alignment with industry-wide benchmarks. To ensure safe and equal access to the resort for all winter employees, we also launched a free employee shuttle.
We Have Work to Do
At Taos Ski Valley and in the outdoor recreation industry at large, people of color are still underrepresented. We will work to change that. We will continue to collaborate with others who can help us on this quest including the global B Corporation community and Camber Outdoors. We believe that we should use our position as leaders in outdoor recreation to ensure that all people, especially Black, Indigenous, and all people of color, feel welcome and have access to the life-changing outdoor opportunities in our communities.
We don’t have all the answers. But we are committed to listening to underrepresented voices and learning before we act. In seeking out diverse thinking, perspectives, knowledge, and experiences, we have an opportunity to learn and become better. It requires courage, humility, and effort, both in sharing our own perspectives and also being open to new and different ways of approaching our business and learning from one another. This is an ongoing process that changes with the new knowledge we gain each day.