Outdoor Industry Workforce Assessment Survey

There has been a collective desire across the outdoor recreation economy to gain a better understanding of two critically important and interconnected pieces of the industry: talent attraction and retention initiatives and diversity, equity, and inclusion outcomes.

by Oregon State University

The survey was designed by Oregon State University’s Office of Institutional Diversity, Outdoor Industry Association, and Outdoor Recreation Roundtable and was piloted by five volunteer outdoor companies. To ensure the survey would gather intended data, the pilot companies completed a test survey and met with the OSU research team to provide feedback on the survey instrument. Comments from the pilot group were compiled and provided to OSU’s Survey Research Center to initiate survey revisions. Several iterations of the survey took place before the final survey’s release.

Designed as an outdoor industry employer survey, participants were asked several questions about their organizational makeup, hiring practices, and diversity plan practices. Participating organizations were reminded that their responses were voluntary and anonymous and that data would only be shared in aggregate for the purpose of highlighting industry-level trends. Participants were encouraged to complete the survey with a small committee of employees including management teams, HR, DEI, People & Culture, department leaders, and employee resource groups. The survey was expected to take 30-45 minutes presuming participants had all the needed information on hand. The survey was designed and available online using the University Qualtrics license. See Appendix A for a copy of the survey questionnaire.

Survey findings are intended to help outdoor industry companies, associations, and educators understand the workforce needs and priorities of the industry at large, inspiring and guiding strategic efforts to invest in workforce development efforts vital in cultivating a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive outdoor recreation economy.

Attached document published July 2022

About the Author


Oregon State is an international public research university that draws people from all 50 states and more than 100 countries. We embrace our responsibility to Oregon and the world, building a future that’s smarter, healthier, more prosperous and more just. We see what could be and have worked relentlessly for 150 years to make it so.

More articles by this author

More articles in this category

Adaptive Recreation: Hiking and Biking for Mobility Device Users

posted Feb 24, 2024

This U.S. Fish and Wildlife presentation by Quinn Brett focuses on trail information and trail usability.

Accessibility Toolkit for Land Managers

posted Feb 24, 2024

Accessibility means more than ADA. What makes you feel welcome in outdoor spaces? When you visit a new park, how do you know that people want you to be there, that you belong?

Desert Ecology Trail, Saguaro National Park, Arizona

posted Feb 19, 2024

Located in the Sonoran desert, this paved interpretative, signed trail gives an overview of the plants, animals, and weather encountered in the desert.

Fossil Exhibit Trail, Badlands National Park, South Dakota

posted Feb 19, 2024

This fully accessible boardwalk trail features fossil replicas and exhibits of now extinct creatures that once roamed the area.

394 views • posted 10/11/2023