The article no one wants to read...
There's an important issue we need to talk about—the lack of diversity within the cycling industry. This post serves as a continuation from one of our poorest-performing blog posts to date which was a piece on diversity in cycling and whilst it's disheartening to see such important discussions overlooked we will continue to confront this topic head-on.
Off the back of the Diversity Perception Survey (DPS) conducted by the UK Bicycle Association, we wish to unpack what diversity means to us as individuals and as a team, because as an industry we need to do more to create a welcoming, equitable workplace for all.
Here at Bike Matrix, we believe in the power of transparency, we openly admit that all of our founding team is of Caucasian descent and we are acutely aware of the privilege this has afforded us through life. Despite this, as a New Zealand based team, we consciously try to embrace the spirit of Kiwi way of life and Maori culture where appropriate. However, diversity extends far beyond ethnicity; we proudly acknowledge that two of our founders are neurodiverse. This underscores our unwavering commitment to creating a workplace that respects and harnesses diverse cognitive styles and works to maximise each other's strengths. It is also worth noting that one of our founders manages a lifelong medical condition, serving as a poignant reminder that diversity encompasses a broad spectrum of experiences that are not always readily visible.
The statistics that came out of the Diversity Perception Survey were quite disheartening to read, but as a 10-year veteran in the industry, it shames me to say that I am also not surprised by these statistics. While working as a bicycle mechanic, I have been "mansplained" more times than I care to acknowledge or admit, both by male colleagues and customers. I have had to fight hard to prove myself within roles and within the industry. I have also found a distinct lack of opportunities and mentorship existed at times when I was keen to further my career development. As an industry, we need to do better.
As a company, we created two policies that are fundamental to us right from the start: one focused on setting a minimum age for workers and preventing forced labor, and another addressing anti-discrimination, harassment, and bullying, with a strict zero-tolerance stance on these issues. Building on the foundation of these policies, we've introduced a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion policy in response to the DPS, demonstrating our commitment to actively expanding our team's diversity during the onboarding process.
We are wholeheartedly committed to fostering a diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplace where every team member contributes to our shared vision as we continue to grow. We believe in balanced representation at all levels, recognising that diversity fuels innovation and strengthens our collective resilience. We also commit to addressing diversity and inclusivity issues openly and honestly, even if it means confronting our own shortcomings.
Bike Matrix is proud to take its place in this movement, working towards a future where everyone in the industry feels valued, represented, and empowered. We aspire to build a diverse company and create a culture that entices people from all backgrounds to remain within the industry, and best still, thoroughly enjoy the work they do. We also recognise that making our platform accessible to everyone, regardless of their abilities, is a crucial step toward inclusivity. We're dedicated to ensuring that our website is user-friendly and provides an accessible experience for all cyclists and we will look for ways to incorporate accessibility into our UX. We revel in the idea that our product can aid riders to better maintain their bikes and subsequently be more involved in cycling.