The North Face’s ‘Move Mountains’ Campaign Celebrates A New Generation Of Female Explorers

When I think of my role models, a few people immediately come to mind. First, there's my sister, who is a special education teacher and demonstrates patience and care with her students every day. There's also my former college professor who managed to lead a cohort of 20 journalism students on a reporting trip through the Middle East — all while breastfeeding her infant child.

Both have played a role in shaping my view of what defines success. In a world where men often have the upper hand in many arenas of life, they’ve also helped me realize what women are capable of.

Men, of course, aren’t absent from my list of exemplars and heroes. But the truth of the matter is, female role models are so important because we need to see women achieving success in order to believe that we’re capable of similar outcomes, too. Social learning theory suggests that as kids, we mimic what we see adults do, and while at first we may cling to examples nearest to us like family members, we eventually branch out to admire outsiders — like teachers and those we see in the media. Social science shows that positive female role models help spur interest (and future success!) in areas like STEM for young girls.

The problem is that women are often under- or misrepresented in much of advertising and the media. Therefore, their stories aren’t as widely circulated. We partnered with The North Face to highlight their new “Move Mountains" campaign, an initiative celebrating the stories of female explorers to empower the next generation that includes a multi-year outdoor adventure collaboration with Girls Scouts of the USA (GSUSA).

While The North Face has been empowering people to push their own boundaries for more than 50 years, Move Mountains is an initiative that celebrates the future of all kinds of exploration. The North Face has released a series of short films featuring women pursuing exploration of all kinds, narrated by individuals they’ve personally inspired and featuring a soundtrack from musician and activist Madame Gandhi. Heroes include North Face athletes like climbing pundits Ashima Shiraishi and Margo Hayes, alpinist Hilaree Nelson, and ultra runner and activist Fernanda Maciel, as well as women breaking boundaries in other fields, like NASA scientist Tiera Fletcher, and actor, women’s empowerment advocate and lead spokeswoman for the campaign and partnership America Ferrera.

Beyond showcasing these powerful women and highlighting their accomplishments, The North Face has also made a commitment to providing equal representation of women in all advertising, social media, and content moving forward, with a goal of not only leveling the playing field but also filling the world with explorers of all types — from athletes, to artists, to educators and scientists, and beyond.

With a goal of canvasing the world with stories of everyday female explorers, The North Face is calling for submissions of black and white images of your personal role model, posted to Instagram with their story and the hashtag #SheMovesMountains by April 31, 2018. Beyond giving your mentor, role model or BFF the shoutout they deserve, select submissions will also be featured in a public art piece in New York City this summer.

Need inspiration? Head to the #SheMovesMountains website to get motivated and learn more about incredible women who are pushing the limits of what’s possible.

This post is sponsored by The North Face.