It’s no secret that the cycling industry is male-dominated; from trade shows to press tours, I often walk into a room and instantly notice how few women there are. It can sometimes feel quite intimidating.
But I can’t say I was surprised to find that the cycling industry is this way – almost all sports are the same, or at least, it’s the men’s games that see more promotion. This simply makes the problem worse – how likely are women to enter a sport or trade if they don’t feel represented in it?
Many girls grow up unaware of the numerous opportunities that are out there for them, from a career point of view as well as their general interests, and this ultimately results in them going down a beaten path that is more traditionally female.
But how do the experiences vary for those already working in the bike trade? I reached out to six women to talk about the cycling industry, its gender gap and what more could be done.
Today’s edition: ‘We have an increased number of women in higher roles’
Tell us about how you got into the cycle industry.
Completely by chance! Having been made redundant from a previous role, I was looking for a new job in the local area and came across a marketing coordinator position which sounded interesting. As someone who loved sport in general, the fact this was something involved in a sport really appealed.
What are your experiences of being a woman in the industry?
My general experience has been positive. As I’ve worked up through the company I’ve never had any problems as a woman, and in more recent years we have an increased number of women in higher roles, which is especially pleasing.
Do you feel that the gender gap is closing at all, and if not, what more could be done?
I definitely think it is, although probably not quick enough. I’m not certain though in cycling whether this is as much to do with fewer women partaking/being interested in the sport and therefore not being driven to join an industry they don’t know that much about.
If you could give one piece of advice to women entering the industry, what would it be?
Embrace it, and don’t feel like you have to ride a bike to fit in!