Championing women cyclists in the workplace

We champion women who cycle
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Championing women cyclists in the workplace

At Cycling UK, we champion women who cycle and have been doing this for many years. Our Women’s Festival of Cycling on 17 July to 1 August has been running for five years and we are really proud it has gone from strength to strength and we’re seeing more women give cycling a try.

Men do nearly three times as many cycling journeys as women, and travel more than four times as far and this includes people who cycle to work.

Transport for London reports that ‘regular’ cyclists are more likely to be men, white, working and non-disabled.

20% of men report being ‘regular’ cyclists compared with 8% of women’.

In England, men travel on average 86 miles per year by bike compared with the average of 21 for women, and in Scotland more than three times as many men than women commute to work by bike: 2.1% compared with 0.6%.

There are several reasons that there are less women cyclists and Cycling UK have identified some of them as being:

  1. There could be a confidence issue. A feeling that cycling on the road is dangerous
  2. Women are more likely to have childcare and work to juggle
  3. Provision for storing bikes may not be conducive for women. Perhaps the bike racks are too high
  4. Perhaps there is no provision for women to shower and dry their hair at work

You can check our women's cycling advice for tips on how to help the women at your organisation overcome these barriers and inspire them to begin their cycle journey.

As an organisation there are lots of ways you can do more to support your female staff to cycle.

  • Hold a ride as part of the Women’s Festival of Cycling.
  • Hold a buddy scheme and encourage someone to ride with you.
  • Share the free Cycling UK digital workshops with your staff (saddle sore workshop, live puncture repair classes and cycling yoga).

As an accredited member, it might be useful for you to survey your staff to see exactly what the barrier to cycling truly is. Only once you see the results from the survey will you really know what to do to help women access the option to cycle to work.

An inspiring story is of Natalie Rees who works for Transport for Wales. She took part in this year’s Bike Week and told Cycling UK that she gave up her car and committed solely to using her bike. Previously, Natalie hadn’t ridden a bike for many years and had a nasty accident when she was a child. Nervous to get back on the bike, she took a cycling training course (arranged by her organisation) for two days to get her confidence back. Natalie works in Sustainability for Transport for Wales so she wanted to practice what she preached. Natalie’s road confidence has grown with time and has never looked back!

Cycling UK are organising the Women’s Festival of Cycling. This year, it is taking place between 17 July to 1 August 2021. We would love for you to share this with your female staff. There will be organised rides, digital events, advice and more. Head to the section on the website to find out more.

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