Inclusivity

Changes that need to be made

By Tamara Spence, Sports and Recreation Editor

There are a limited amount of companies who are ahead of the game, actively making fishing more inclusive for the modern-day female anglers. The Argus was fortunate to interview Jacob Maples of Compass 360 and pick his brain about the subject of female anglers. As some people may know, Compass 360 is a company that produces outerwear, wade wear and rainwear products. Compass 360 as a brand values their customers and strongly believes that they are at the heart of the operation. A lot of time is spent with an eye on the market and finding out what customers are seeking. Maples states: “In listening, we have found a dramatic growth in the women’s fishing market and are working on new products to broaden our offering to female anglers who want more than just an entry level product.”

Maples also spoke of the changes that he thought could be made in the industry to fairly represent women in the outdoor market, pointing out the inarguable imbalance that can been seen just by scrolling through the selection of any outdoor store or company websites. Maples states that “companies need to offer more women’s products in specific fields. For instance, there are thousands of women’s rain jackets on the market but very few specialty products such as women’s fishing waders or hunting outerwear.” This is something that needs to change. Maples believes the industry needs to be progressive and offer a wider specialty market that includes a broader selection for women, and Compass 360 is getting the ball rolling.

It’s clear that the industry needs to change the way that women are represented. Maples made mention of the explosion of social media and companies needing to take notice of the presence of women in the outdoor market. Maples says, “Social media is the fastest growing marketing platform and for the most part women tend to post more than their male counterparts. And with that, more and more women are realizing there is a place for them in the field”. This is something that Compass 360 noticed right away, recognizing that as a company develops, it needs to be inclusive.

At Compass 360, entry-level women’s waders have always been offered but understandably so, it was acknowledged that this was not enough. Maples was happy to share an upcoming release of high end women’s waders (The Ledges), which will be top of the line and have comparable features to the male waders. This will be a higher value wader with accents women seek while still having the fit and form of femininity. This is the wader that many women have been waiting for, and Compass 360 wanted to be the one to provide what the market was missing.