The ads from the 70’s are but a distant memory now as women take a spot front and center for many companies’ growth prospects for the new millennium.

The SnowSports Industry has seen a large up-tic in the women’s specific market, mainly because grass-roots advocates for women’s specific product like Jeannie Thoren are making solid headway in educating consumers about the benefits of this gear.

Companies like Rossignol, K2, and Burton all adopted a ground-up approach to women’s specific design, involving women in every step of the go-to-market process, from conception to design to advertising. This approach has killed the old “shrink-it and pink-it” approach as women look for tangible benefits in their product. Likewise, this approach has killed the idea that women don’t buy women’s specific high-end ski equipment.

Women’s specific equipment, apparel and footwear reached $875 million in sales for 2004, according to OIA. Outdoor companies are launching new lines of women’s specific apparel, and catering to an emerging women’s outdoor fashion market. For the first time in company history sales of The North Face women’s specific outerwear out-paced unisex outerwear this year.

The tremendous growth in this market over the past year has also been spurred by retailers re-thinking their merchandising and service strategies to cater to the female shopper.