One of our members has approached your Bike North Executive proposing that it establish a Women’s Committee, noting that there is a significant male/female imbalance in cycling generally and within the Bike North membership.  A number of reasons were cited for this gender imbalance including concerns about safety; lack of cycling infrastructure; lack of, and the desirability for there to be, a “distinct female culture within Bike North”; harassment; appearance; a perception of intimidation given the greater numbers and frequently fitter status of many male riders; a sense that women want different things from cycling than their male colleagues.

 In considering the points made above the Bike North Executive has noted that, although we do not keep collect or keep statistics on the gender of our membership, we suspect that we are about 30% female; that this percentage is higher than the percentage of females in the broader community who ride; that three of the eight members of the Executive are female; that the majority of our coaches are female; that around 50% of riders participating in our “easy/easy medium” rides are female but that this percentage decreases markedly in the “medium hard/hard” range.

That the gender disparity in Bike North is less than in the broader community is not a reason for us not to do better and, accordingly, the Executive supports the establishment of a Women’s Committee – but we obviously need members to volunteer to join the Committee.

The Executive has endorsed the following terms of reference but would be happy to review them once a Committee is established and the Committee believes they should be changed.

We now need members of Bike North who wish to be members of the Women’s Committee to email the President and express their interest: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  Without members’ participation we cannot progress this initiative further.

Women’s Committee: Terms of Reference

The Membership and Terms of Reference of the Women’s Committee shall be reviewed annually and approved by the Executive.

The Women's Committee is dedicated to encouraging, promoting and facilitating women's cycling in Bike North and in the community more generally.

Terms of Reference of the Committee

  • To assess whether there are obstacles to the participation of women in the activities of Bike North and to make recommendations to the Executive for the removal of any such obstacles
  • To encourage women members of Bike North to participate fully in the activities of Bike North and to make recommendations to the Executive accordingly
  • To investigate what would attract women who are not members of Bike North to join and make recommendations to the Executive accordingly
  • To investigate how to promote cycling to women more generally (including how Bicycle NSW, councils, governments and other authorities could make cycling more attractive to women) and to make recommendations to the Executive accordingly.

Membership of the Committee

  • Up to seven members of Bike North the majority of whom must be women
  • Up to three other members as proposed by the Chair of the Women’s Committee and approved by the Executive

Tom Rubin

President

15 August 2108