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29 May 2024

P&C Music – Harrogate's oldest independent record shop – is celebrating its 30th anniversary, having become a mecca for vinyl record fans in a wide variety...

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ACT Backs Launch of Diversity in Cycling campaign As the world marks International Women’s Day

Posted on in Business News , Cycles News

As the world marks International Women’s Day, the Association of Cycle Traders is among several industry organisations backing a new Diversity in Cycling campaign, a project led by the Bicycle Association which is aimed at tackling the lack of diversity in the cycling industry and unlocking additional growth by reaching out to new customer audiences and recruiting more diversely, particularly at leadership level.

Woman cycling

To tackle the lack of diversity in the cycling sector and in cycling overall, cycling businesses are being urged to sign a Diversity Pledge, aligning the industry behind a shared commitment to creating a diverse, equitable, inclusive workplace culture. Those who have already signed the Pledge include: Brompton; Cycling Sports Group; Frog Bikes; Giant; Halfords; Islabikes; Liv; Raleigh; Schwalbe; Specialized and Trek.

Jonathan Harrison from the Association of Cycle Traders comments:

“The ACT is proud to support the Diversity in Cycling project and urges all of its members to become involved. Cycling is for everyone and it’s really important that our industry is not only a home to but also reflective of anyone in our society who wants to enjoy life on two wheels.”

The campaign is reinforced by diversity findings highlighted by the Bicycle Association:

    ● Men occupy the majority of roles in the cycling industry and make twice as many cycling trips as women

    ● Women account for only 8% of cycle workshop roles and 19% of customer-facing roles

    ● The number of women in senior leadership roles in cycling is scant

    ● Only 14% of ethnic minority groups, 12% of people with disabilities and 19% of LGBTQ+ people cycle regularly

Everybody working in the industry is being invited to take a perception survey into the experiences, wants and needs of people around diversity, equity and inclusion. The survey is an international collaboration between the BA, Cycling Industries Europe (CIE) and WORK180.

Nikki Hawyes, Country Leader of Cycling Sports Group and Chair of the Diversity in Cycling Advisory Board, said:

“Fixing our diversity problem is important not only out of a moral imperative to better reflect our society and allow everyone to be their authentic selves at work. It is also vitally important for sustainable industry growth. In order to grow cycling, we need to reach out to a new, more diverse group of people and inspire them to take their short journeys by bike. This will help meet our net zero commitments by 2030. The potential growth opportunity for our industry is huge: an additional £2-3 billion per year for the cycling industry, and an additional £75-£149 billion per year for the UK economy, with up to 199,000 more green jobs created.

Throughout my career I’ve often been in industries and teams, where I am in a minority group and, at times, felt disadvantaged because I am female. This is what drives me to support DEI initiatives so I can give my time and experience helping other marginalised groups have a voice and be heard. I encourage all cycling organisations to sign our pledge and join us in making a strategic commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, to unlock additional value for our industry and the wider economy.”

Sally Middlemiss, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Lead at the BA, said:

“The business case for diversity, equity and inclusion in the UK is 'stronger than ever', according to new research by McKinsey. Diverse businesses are more profitable; they recruit the best talent; make better decisions; have more motivated employees; and have a superior understanding of customers' needs. Meanwhile, an Accenture study found that 41% of shoppers removed at least 10% of their business from a retailer for their lack of focus on diversity, equity and inclusion.

The business benefits to embracing diversity, equity and inclusion are clear, but there is a worrying disconnect within the industry - our latest census showed that just 21% of the industry considered women as a growth customer segment, while 72% did not identify any underrepresented demographics in their customer base. Only 9% of census respondents ran events targeting people from diverse ethnic backgrounds.”

Initially, the Diversity in Cycling project will focus on collecting data and insights from both employers and underrepresented groups in our industry, to benchmark, measure progress and capture case studies and role models. The project then aims to provide targeted support to employers, sharing best practice from within and outside cycling to help them implement their strategic commitments to diversity, equity and inclusion; while building an inclusive professional network for women and other marginalised groups.

Tiffany Lam, Sustrans’ Strategy Lead for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, said:

“The lack of diversity in the cycling industry is part of a wider systemic issue, and is mirrored by a similar imbalance in participation in cycling across most parts of the UK today: Sustrans’ latest research shows that only 11% of women cycle regularly, compared with 23% of men; while just 14% of ethnic minority groups, 12% of people with disabilities and 19% of LGBTQ+ people cycle regularly1. This underrepresentation in participation inevitably impacts upon the desirability of a career in the cycling industry for these same groups today. At Sustrans, we look forward to working alongside the Bicycle Association and other UK cycling bodies to tackle this systemic lack of diversity, to bring about meaningful change.”

Lauha Fried, Policy Director at Cycling Industries Europe and Founder of Women in Cycling, said:

“With collective purpose and ambition, we can build the momentum to create a diverse, equitable, inclusive cycling industry culture at international scale, advancing the careers of underrepresented groups, enabling everybody’s voice to be heard, and inspiring more diverse people to enter and lead the sustainable, resilient, competitive cycling industry of the future.”

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