Making cycling accessible for all
The theme for this year’s International Women’s Day is #EachForEqual. An equal world is an enabled world.
Here at the Bike Club, we want to promote cycling for all.
And we’re not the only ones! The government has decided to dedicate £1.2 billion towards its plan to increase the number of people cycling and walking. They’re going to be implementing innovative ways to encourage people to get on their bikes, with plans to double the number of cyclists in the UK.
And why wouldn’t you cycle? It’s better for your body, better for the environment and it’s a whole lot of fun.
This year, British Cycling launched its very first “Women and Girl’s Club Toolkit”. Their aim is to encourage more women to cycle. They want to reduce the gender gap in the sport because, currently, only 18% of British Cycling Club members are female.
International Women’s Day is an opportunity to remind us to keep striving for equality in the world. Though the difference in pay between men and women is falling, as of 2019 there is still a 17.3% difference in gender pay. For women in business especially, it’s more important than ever to make sure that we work to fight stereotypes, challenge unfairness and also celebrate everything that women have achieved.
Our interview with Alexandra: female COO
We want to take this opportunity to celebrate our co-founder and COO, Alexandra. So we asked her a few questions…
Who are your role-models and why?
“I have to say my mum which is totally cliché. Having your own children gives you this newfound sense of: ‘how on earth did they do it’ respect for your parents"
"Then if I were to go non-cheesy I’d say Tamara Hill-Norton. She’s the founder of Sweaty Betty and truly awesome. What she’s done to empower women is incredible and she’s exactly the type of entrepreneur I aspire to be. I’m just waiting for them to bring out a maternity range... (hint hint).”
Why is equality in the workplace important to you?
"Over 70% of our management team is female. I believe true equality is achieved by creating workplaces that work for everyone.
Take flexible working, for example. Our Lead Mechanic, Lewis. He starts later as he drops his children off at school every morning. His wife gets a career, he gets to spend time with the children, and they see their parents pulling together. True equality will be achieved over many years. We need to set the foundations now, to change the world for future generations.“
What’s the thing you’re most proud of achieving?
“This one, I, unfortunately, can’t announce just yet. There are exciting things to come in 2020 for the Bike Club. Keep your eyes peeled!"
Do you have any advice for aspiring female entrepreneurs?
“Don’t do it. No seriously, be prepared for the extreme. If you shy away from stress, you’re better off staying in the security of employment.
There seems to be this “Instagram generation” of entrepreneurs which is not a true depiction of reality. The reality is: it’s incredibly taxing on your mental health, physical well-being and social life. You become an outsider. On the other hand, it is truly rewarding.
If I were to give any advice to female (or male) entrepreneurs, it would be to believe in yourself wholeheartedly. Tune into your limitations and weaknesses and make a conscious effort to learn from your mistakes. You’ll have a few knocks along the way (every other day if you’re doing it right) but just like riding a bike, brush yourself off and get back up again.
If things don’t break, you’re not stretching yourself. You’re not growing. That is crucial to personal development, and crucial to any growing business.”
We’re incredibly proud to have Alexandra as our COO. Alexandra and husband, James, co-founded the Bike Club in 2016 and it is now the largest private bike-sharing company in the UK. In a male-dominated industry, we’re thrilled to have three (brilliant) managers and an amazing co-founder that are all female.
Our mission: The Next Generation
The Bike Club wants to make cycling as widely accessible as possible. With our flexible monthly subscription service, we aim to ensure that families everywhere are able to bring the gift of a bike to their child.
Access for all gives more and more children the opportunity to learn the skill of a lifetime- a skill they’ll never forget. Just like the theme for this year’s International Women’s Day, #EachForEqual, we believe that everyone should get the chance to ride a bike; whether it’s a tiny tadpole or a fully-fledged mountain bike.
Whether you’re riding to school or around the park, cycling is a great way to spend time with family, get fit and is perfect for any age. We want the next generation to grow upcycling with the Bike Club. It’s fun, sustainable and suited for everyone.
Our mission: For our members
But it’s not just for kids. Along with our adult bikes, we’re also currently giving all our members the opportunity to invest in the Bike Club. Our members have helped create the community that is the Bike Club, and we’d love to embark on the next stage of this journey together.
We’re currently launching an equity crowdfunding campaign on Crowdcube and have given all our members (over 25,000) the chance to join the family cycling revolution.
In terms of investment, some studies have shown that women generally feel less confident when it comes to making investment decisions. 55% of men feel confident compared to only 38% of women.
But at the Bike Club so far, out of all our investors, 43% of them are female.
Bring on women investors 💪🙌👱♀️