Burton Snowboards CEO paying for employees to attend Women’s March in DC

Donald J. Trump will be sworn in as the 45th President of the United States on Friday.

On Saturday, people across the globe will be participating in the Women’s March to protest “the rhetoric of the past election cycle” and stand up for women’s rights.

There are 200,000 people expected to participate in the march in Washington D.C. alone, and among them will be Burton Snowboards CEO Donna Carpenter.

And in an interview with Cosmopolitan Thursday, Carpenter said that not only is she flying down to the Women’s March, but she’s offering to help pay for any employees of her Burlington, Vermont-based company to join her.

According to Cosmopolitan, Carpenter is offering to pay for two nights lodging and subsidize up to $250 worth of airfare for any Burton employee who wants to be a part of the march in D.C.

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“I knew there would be a lot of Burton women who were making the effort to get down to Washington,” the 53-year-old Carpenter told the magazine. “They’re that type of people. We’re in Vermont, in Bernie-land. I had a lot of employees who were volunteering for Bernie [Sanders]. But it’s a long way from Burlington to Washington, D.C. For me, it’s all about numbers. What they need are numbers to make a point.”

Carpenter explained to Cosmopolitan that women’s rights have been extremely important to her for a long time, and that making an intentional push for more female inclusion within Burton has improved the company.

Donna Carpenter Burton Snowboards womens march

Donna Carpenter took over the CEO position at Burton in 2015 Photo: Courtesy of Winnie Au

“It’s been a passion of mine to find more women leaders internally and externally, and to make sure that women feel that they’re as much a part of the snowboarding community as men are,” Carpenter told Cosmopolitan. “Thirteen years ago, less than 10 percent of our leaders were women and now it’s over 40 percent. My senior team is 50-50. It’s made us a better company.”

“But the election felt like a slap in the face,” Carpenter continued. “At a company meeting in December, I spoke out and said that we might live in a not-so-polite America now, but we can treat each other with respect and inclusion. We can have an impact on our own workplaces if we double down on our efforts. Offering to help my employees go to the march felt like a natural extension of this philosophy.”

Carpenter said that roughly 25 employees would be joining her in the Women’s March.

h/t Cosmopolitan