Working at Columbia Sportswear | Glassdoor

Columbia Sportswear Overview

Portland, OR
10000+ employees
1938
Company - Public (COLM)
Retail
$2 to $5 billion (USD) per year
A TESTED TOUGH HISTORY Born and raised in Portland, Oregon, Columbia Sportswear Company has been making gear so that Pacific Northwesterners can enjoy the outdoors for more than 70 years. At the helm for over 40 years has been our Chairman, Gert Boyle. Her Tough Mother persona ... Read more

Mission: We Connect Active People With Their Passions - Being an industry leader in outdoor apparel and products takes passion, and an understanding of people who love the outdoors as much as we do. That’s why, from cutting edge technology, to our innovative heritage in ... Read more

Company Updates

  • We just keep growing.....Welcome to Laredo, TX home of Columbia Sportswear's 96th Factory Outlet Store! The store opened to an enthusiastic crowd of almost 100 eager shoppers counting down the last 10 seconds to opening in Spanish.

  • Check out Tim Boyle, our CEO for Columbia Sportswear Company featured on Mad Money. http://glassdoor.com/slink.htm?key=vQPtq

    Columbia Sportswear's CEO slams Trump's proposed border tax: 'We will all be punished'

    Jim Cramer spoke with Tim Boyle, who said a border tax would be both expensive to consumers and trigger retribution in trade.

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Columbia Sportswear Video

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Columbia Sportswear – Why Work For Us?


A DIFFERENT KIND OF ADVENTURE

Columbia Sportswear knows a thing or two about adventures. After all, we've been on one for over 70 years, constantly working to perfect the art and enjoyment of the greater outdoors. Behind everything we make is an employee who's found that the greatest adventure starts with joining a company that offers them much more than just a paycheck.

We are proud to be a company of innovators. By constantly developing new and better products, we believe we can improve the way our customers enjoy the outdoors. The industry is taking notice too. Visit our blog to see the many accolades we've received.

Wondering where your next adventures will take you? Let's talk.


COLUMBIA HISTORY

“IT'S PERFECT, NOW MAKE IT BETTER.”

This is the directive given by our very own tough mother, Chairman Gert Boyle. It’s the reason we’re constantly testing our products against every type of terrible, no good, day-ruining condition the skies of the mighty Pacific Northwest can dish out. Sure, it makes life hell for us, but it means great gear for you. So when she finally does use her famous stamp of approval, you know you’re duly equipped to stay outside long after the featherweights have retreated indoors.

Tested Tough Stamp
A TESTED TOUGH HISTORY

Born and raised in Portland, Oregon, Columbia Sportswear Company has been making gear so that Pacific Northwesterners can enjoy the outdoors for more than 70 years. At the helm for over 40 years has been our Chairman, Gert Boyle. Her Tough Mother persona has grown Columbia into the global sportswear company that it is today—still based in Portland, still making no-nonsense apparel and footwear to keep you WARM, DRY, COOL and PROTECTED no matter what. Our unique Pacific Northwest heritage and Boyle family irreverence is what sets us apart from the competition.

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We're a family business gone global. Chairman Gert Boyle's parents — German nationals who fled Nazi Germany in 1938 — purchased a small hat company upon their arrival in Portland and named it Columbia Hat Company, after the river that inspired their new home. This humble beginning was of huge significance to the family, marking new found freedom and a fresh start. Her husband later took over, and after he died Gert ran the show, going from housewife to executive overnight. Today, her son Tim Boyle is our longtime president and CEO. The family — like our business — has experienced its ups and downs, but enjoying the outdoors together has always been integral to its success.

Columbia is made up of real people who are as passionate about the outdoors as you are. And, while our products are available around the world, we're based in the great Pacific Northwest, where majestic forests frame volcanic mountains and a rugged coast. This is where we hike, ride, fish, hunt, climb, camp, golf, paddle, run, and just enjoy fresh air with friends. Come join us.

Historical Highlights

2014: Sponsor of U.S., Canadian, and Russian Freestyle Ski Teams in Sochi Winter Olympics
2014: TurboDown™ technology fuses Omni-Heat™ synthetic insulation with down
2013: Omni-Freeze™ ZERO wins National Geographic Adventure's 2013 Gear of the Year
1996: Performance Fishing Gear (PFG) is born
1986: First Bugaboo™ Parka revolutionizes how downhill skiers dress

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A DIFFERENT KIND OF ADVENTURE

Columbia Sportswear knows a thing or two about adventures. After all, we've been on one for over 70 years, constantly working to perfect the art and enjoyment of the greater outdoors. Behind everything we make is an employee who's found that the greatest adventure starts with joining a company that offers them much more than just a paycheck.

We are proud to be a company of innovators. By constantly developing new and better products, we believe we can improve the way our customers enjoy the outdoors. The industry is taking notice too. Visit our blog to see the many accolades we've received.

Wondering where your next adventures will take you? Let's talk.

Benefits

Columbia Sportswear is hiring talented people across the country at our corporate offices, distribution centers and retail stores. At Columbia we have commitment to product innovation and are winning industry awards for our delivery on this promise. We want innovators.

As an employee you are eligible for benefits based on your part-time/full-time status. Benefits may vary by location but generally include:

  • Medical / Dental / Vision
  • Paid Time Off
  • 401K

Columbia employees also enjoy a wide variety of additional benefits and activities, such as:

  • Tuition Assistance Program
  • Employee Volunteer Program
  • And More!


THE COLUMBIA APPROACH

At Columbia Sportswear, we are committed to building a company of which we can all be proud – not only of the innovative products we create and the financial results we achieve, but the manner in which we achieve them. Whether it’s responsible sourcing, giving back to our communities, or reducing our environmental impact, we believe corporate responsibility is a companywide effort.

We want you to be proud to wear our products, and use our accessories and equipment anytime you step into the Greater Outdoors. Stakeholder input is invaluable to the continuous improvement of our corporate responsibility programs. I invite you to learn what we’ve been doing and participate in making our programs better by providing your feedback at cr@columbia.com.

—Tim Boyle, President, CEO, and Director


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The 100KW grid-tied solar electric system on the roof of our Headquarters

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Conveyor belts that automatically shut down when not in use reduce energy needs by 23%



RETHREADS

At Columbia, we are committed to taking a holistic, life cycle approach to managing the environmental impacts of the products we make. This includes extending the life of our products and keeping these products out of the landfill once they have reached the end of their wearable life as well as extending the life of “seconds” garments through our non-profit donation program.

In-Store Clothing and Footwear Recycling

In the U.S., 85% of clothing ends up in the landfill – that equates to almost 24 billion lbs of waste per year or 70 lbs of waste per person per year.

Columbia’s Rethreads program encourages consumers to bring in their used clothing and shoes, from any brand in clean, dry condition, to our participating retail stores to be given a new life. As a thank you, we will give anyone who contributes 10% off of a purchase of $75 or more.

Products collected at participating Columbia retail stores are sent to a textile processing facility where they are evaluated and sorted for rewear, reuse or recycling depending on specific sorting criteria. Columbia is piloting the ReThreads program in the following seven retail locations in Oregon, Washington and Minnesota:


Products that are still wearable find new homes through the second-hand market. Products that cannot be worn get another life in applications such as toys, artwork and cleaning cloths. Products that cannot be reused are recycled into secondary raw materials for items such as running tracks, insulation, carpet padding, stuffing for toys and even fiber for new clothing.

We are excited to be partnering with I:CO, to take the collected products on their journey to their next life. I:CO is an innovative textile recycling solutions company whose aim is to keep used clothing and shoes in an everlasting life cycle where these items can be reprocessed, reused and recycled again and again.

Through the Rethreads Program, Columbia is joining the movement to significantly reduce the amount of apparel and footwear that ends up in landfills in order to help conserve our material resources, reduce our collective carbon footprint, and help renew the planet and our communities.

Non-profit Product Donations

We seek to stretch the life of product seconds by donating these items to non-profit organizations. Product seconds include non-sellable product returns or product that has incurred minor damages.

We do these donations twice a year from our Distribution Center in Portland, Oregon. If you are local non-profit, you can apply to pick up these garments. For more information on eligibility and product donations, please contact our Community Relations Department

At Columbia Sportswear, we are committed to building a company of which we can all be proud - not only of the innovative products we create and the financial results we achieve, but the manner in which we achieve them. Whether it's responsible sourcing, giving back to our communities, or reducing our environmental impact, we believe corporate responsibility is a companywide effort.

We support organizations who share our passion for the great outdoors. We believe that outdoor education and conservation ensures everyone will be able to enjoy the outdoors for generations to come.

Our grant program self-selects our nonprofit partners by working with our employees, retailers and distributors. We do not accept unsolicited grant or sponsorship requests. We support organizations who share our passion for the great outdoors. This perspective ensures that our philanthropic investments are dynamic, locally relevant, and address our focus areas. It also allows us to reach our objective of global reach, local impact.



In addition to our focus areas, we are also dedicated to humanitarian support and educating consumers about sun safety and breast cancer prevention. We partner with humanitarian and health organizations to help people in the world’s toughest places turn crises into opportunities for progress.

HUMANITARIAN RELIEF

Because our products keep bodies warm, dry, cool and protected; they are often critically needed resources during humanitarian relief efforts. We maintain partnerships with international relief providers to help people in the world’s toughest places turn crises into opportunities for progress.




I WEAR PINK
I Wear Pink Logo

What is I Wear Pink?

I Wear Pink is a partnership between Columbia Sportswear and the National Breast Cancer Foundation, Inc. to help save lives by increasing awareness of breast cancer through education and by providing mammograms for those in need.

How does the program work?

Each year we develop a limited collection of styles for women and men branded with the pink breast-cancer-awareness ribbon. Columbia and each participating retailer then donate $1.00 for every garment ($.50 for each hat/cap) sold to the National Breast Cancer Foundation.

What’s the history of the program?

Since its inception in 2007, the program has raised over $1 million for the National Breast Cancer Foundation. The entire donation is restricted to providing mammograms for those in need. The 2014 donation was a record $227,000, which we hope to top in 2015.

Where is the program offered?

Currently, the program is offered nationwide. Participation of retailers has grown from six in 2007 to over 100 to date, but you can shop the collection year round on our site. Help contribute to the cause by shopping these functional and stylish looks today.

Shop Now »





MERCY CORPS
Mercy Corps Volunteer Mercy Corps Logo

Columbia partners with Mercy Corps to help people in the world’s toughest places turn the crises of natural disaster, poverty, and conflict into opportunities for progress. Our support has included providing our Insect Blocker and Omni-Shade technology to outfit their field staff as well as donating apparel to support relief efforts.

Recent projects included supporting refugees from the extended conflict in Syria in Lebanon, Typhoon Haiyan relief in the Philippines, and humanitarian relief in South Sudan.


The Skin Cancer Foundation
Columbia-giving-back-key-initiatives-right-rail-skincancer-image

Columbia is partnering with The Skin Cancer Foundation (SCF) to help educate consumers how to safely enjoy the outdoors. SCF is the only international organization devoted solely to combating the world's most common cancer, now occuring at epidemic levels. More than a million new cases of skin cancer are diagnosed in the United States every year.

Our Omni-Shade line has earned the SCF's Seal of Recommendation which is awarded to ultraviolet (UV) protection products with a minimum of IPF 30 that meet their specific criteria. Columbia Sportswear is the first international large apparel company to hold the seal.

The Skin Cancer Foundation's Road to Healthy SKin Tour will hit the road in March, offering free full body skin cancer screenings conducted by the local board-ceritifed dermatologists. The 38-foot customized RV will stop at participating Rite Aid stores and other locations in order to provide early detection services to thousands of people.

In addition, we have partnered with the SCF to produce 'Rays' Awareness: Science of Sun Safety curriculum designed for 5th and 6th grade students. This curriculum has been distributed throughout the Southern United States and is avilable for download here.


From the mountain peak to the neighborhood park, from the glacier to the garden, and from stream to Ocean, Columbia helps you enjoy your outdoor adventure anywhere you like to play. We annually partner with additional nonprofit organizations to support local initiated conservation projects around the world.

Current Partners Include:


NATIONAL TRAILS DAY
nationaltraildaylogo americanhikingsocietylogo

American Hiking Society’s National Trails Day is a nationwide campaign to connect Americans to the great outdoors through trail-based activities such as hiking, trail running, mountain biking, horseback riding, and paddling. National Trails Day is celebrated every year on the first Saturday of June, by thousands of organizations and individuals, who host free, public events across every U.S. state.

On National Trails Day 2014, over 21,000 volunteers contributed their time and sweat to spruce up our nation’s trails in time for the busy summer season. Their efforts resulted in the maintenance of 1,360 miles of trails, an equivalent value of $2.2 million. With a focus on family this year, we expect these numbers to grow.

Please log on to http://www.nationaltrailsday.org for more information and to register for local events in your community.


CONSERVATION ALLIANCE
pinnacle-member-logo giving-back-conversation-b6y0352

The Conservation Alliance is a group of outdoor industry companies that disburses its collective annual membership dues to grassroots environmental organizations. As a Pinnacle Level Member, Columbia is proud to support Conservation Alliance and their mission of protecting wild places for their habitat and recreation values.

Since its inception in 1989, the Alliance has contributed close to $13 million to grassroots conservation groups throughout North America. The results of their funding have been remarkable helping save more than 42 million acres of wildlands; protect 2,825 miles of rivers; designate five marine reserves; and purchase nine climbing areas.

In addition, the Alliance hosts a series of Backyard Collectives across the country to bring together member company employees and local grantees for a day of environmental action. Projects include trail work, invasive species removal, and other creative projects that make a difference in local communities and ecosystems.

Columbia is proud to be a co-host of the Portland, OR event where over 300 of our employees annually join their colleagues from the outdoor industry to give back to our local community.



GRASSROOTS OUTDOOR ALLIANCE BELAY PROGRAM
grassroots-member-logo giving-back-conversation-image

Grassroots Outdoor Alliance (Grassroots) and Columbia Sportswear Company are proud to recognize dynamic local projects and people that get kids outside and conserve the natural places we love through the Columbia/Grassroots Belay Program. This program, established in 2012, has expanded each year growing from 10 recipients in 2012 to 20 grant recipients in 2014. The 2014 recipients are located in 16 different States (from Arizona to Connecticut) and will receive $5,000 in the form of cash, product, or both from Columbia.

Grassroots and Columbia share a mission of promoting long-term environmental good for the great outdoors on local, national and global levels. To demonstrate our commitment to the outdoors, as well as Columbia’s appreciation of Grassroots members’ current conservation efforts, we established the CSC/Grassroots Belay Program.

Grassroots Outdoor Alliance unites independent outdoor retailers as a unified voice leading to excellence in retail through community, culture and sustainability. Their retail members are one hundred stores working together to create a national network or promotion, access and information. They are intimately involved in the development of local economies, communities, customer bases, events, education and initiatives related to the enhancement and enjoyment of outdoor experiences.


Columbia Sportswear Reviews

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Columbia Sportswear President, CEO, and Director Tim Boyle
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168 Ratings
  • Featured Review

    Helpful (5)

    "Hands Down The Best Career Move to Date!"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous in Portland, OR
    Current Employee - Anonymous in Portland, OR
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Columbia Sportswear full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Great culture. Flexible working hours. Report directly to one person and not 10. Executives doors wide open, available, kind & approachable. No cursing. Everyone has a good attitude. Ego left at the door. Family first....always!

    Cons

    HQ works paces are crowded and there's not enough space for company growth.

    Advice to Management

    Figure out the right space management and parking situation. Give more PTO time (you're at the low end of the spectrum for most companies. We need 3 weeks PTO + sick time is what we are getting in the market if you want to be competitive with Nike, Adidas, etc. Think more European in the time given to employees for their own lives). Don't scrimp on our benefits. The local guys don't cut it, we need a wider array of medical options, with less money out of our pockets. We need OHSU and Legacy in network as well.

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Columbia Sportswear Photos

Columbia Sportswear photo of: main entrance
Columbia Sportswear photo of: Annual Volunteer Day
Columbia Sportswear photo of: Annual Volunteer Day 2016
Columbia Sportswear photo of: Annual Volunteer Day 2016
Columbia Sportswear photo of: Summertime Patio Party at Headquarters
Columbia Sportswear photo of: Executive Volleyball Game
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Columbia Sportswear Interviews

Interview Experience

Interview Experience
61%
24%
14%

Getting an Interview

Getting an Interview
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Interview Difficulty

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    Sales Associate Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    Accepted Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied through an employee referral. I interviewed at Columbia Sportswear.

    Interview

    I applied online they called me for a phone interview then asked couple of questions then got called for a interview with hiring manager then the store manager so 3 interviews in total

    Interview Questions

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Columbia Sportswear Awards & Accolades

  • Oregon's Most Admired Companies, The Portland Business Journal, 2016
  • Gear of the year award, National Geographic, 2016
  • Gear of the year award, National Geographic, 2016
  • Gear of the Show, Outside Magazine, 2016
  • Fortune 500, Fortune, 2015
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