Breaking the Social Norms

Written by Emma Renly


Coalition Snow Ambassador Lauren Distler is determined to break the social norms on what is means to be a woman athlete and engineer. 

Name: Lauren Distler

Instagram: @distleln

After a long hiatus from skiing due to university studies, Lauren Distler is back and ready to sway to the rhythm of the mountains again. Luckily, her new home base in Albuquerque offers backyard access to the southwestern mountains for prime skiing, mountain biking and climbing. Armed with a passion for the outdoors she’s ready to break the social norms in what is means to be a woman athlete and engineer. 

What mountain range do you generally backcountry ski in? 

The San Juan Mountains in Colorado or the Sangre de Cristo Mountains in northern New Mexico. There’s also a ski area in the Sandias right outside of town.. we’ve been talking about skinning up the backside to earn a few turns down the groomers next season.

How did you first hear about Coalition Snow?

This is the best story! My partner and I bought a nice rooftop box, used, that was covered in stickers. During the process of removing some of them, we came across two Coalition Snow/Sisterhood of Shred stickers. After a quick Google search I discovered an awesome company with a super real mission.. and lady made and approved skis!  I noticed they were looking for ambassadors and sent my info in. 

How are you personally shredding the patriarchy?
My Bachelor's degree is in engineering, which is probably one of the most male-dominated fields to get into. Finding your voice and your place as a woman in STEM can be really challenging and it doesn’t help that a lot of young women are discouraged from math and sciences from very early on. I hope that by continuing on in a traditionally male dominated field and participating in more male dominated sports such as skiing, rock climbing and mountain biking I can help change the face that kids picture in their head when someone says ‘scientist’ or ‘athlete’. 

Other than making your voice heard in traditionally more male-dominated activities and work, what other social issues do you share/care about with Coalition Snow?

My main shtick is equality.  It bugs me that female people are expected to conform to beauty standards like shaving pits and legs (and are shamed from an early age if they don't), when men have never been expected to do so. Conforming to antiquated beauty and body standards is so last century! And it should go both ways - male people should be able to paint their toenails or wear a little makeup if they feel like it - gender is a spectrum!