Dear bike industry: stop with podium and booth girls.
We’ve been reading all the stories, experiences and admissions from female mountain bikers highlighted in the recent #metoo campaign which has followed the Weinstein affair, and it really saddens us. It saddens us on so many levels including not appreciating the extent of the problem even in our own sport.
But it also made us think about how the bike industry can do more to help. Still today women are sexualised by the bike industry with “podium girls” at races and “booth girls” at trade shows. This stuff may be contributing to a culture in which men may think differently about women in mountain biking. Sexual assault and harassment is never the fault of the victim but every little part of the culture you create can give easy excuses to some pathetic men.
We think it’s time that shit stoped! It adds no value to our sport whatsoever. How about you put some up-and-coming riders on the podiums, and maybe fly some engineers and designers to the trade shows instead. Even more female engineers and designers too – we’d rather talk to a female engineer than some random girl handing out stickers.
Every little thing you do to improve the sport for women shows your leadership, for not only encouraging women to ride, but also creating a community and culture where #meeto doesn’t happen in our sport.