The latest Shift Up podcast in Bridging the Gap series, as sponsored by QBP, is now live.
This episode our host, Arleigh Greenwald, tracked down with Sara Jarrell, SRAM’s Women’s Program Coordinator to ask why the brand is investing so much in developing the presence of women in the bike industry.
In her role as Program Coordinator Jarrell is tasked with, among other things, managing the firm’s ambassadors, of which the SRAM has ten women in mountain biking and a handful more on the road side. Discussing the proliferation of ambassador programs, Jarrell pinpoints the 2000s as a time when momentum started to build in the industry to drive women’s cycling.
Referring to Rebecca Rush’s SRAM women’s clinic as a great example of engaging women in educational clinics we are told “She took the meet and greet, the wine and cheese night and turned it into something that was really tangible. People showed up, they learned how to adjust their suspension, they learned how to adjust their pads, but they also just learned how to ride and feel comfortable learning those skills. She really helped push the envelope and create a different style of event.”
SRAM now regularly attends events all over the U.S. – from Crankworx to Sea Otter – where it puts on specific tech and rider clinics for females.
“If we’re in your area come out an ride, all the events are free,” encourages Jarrell, also inviting shop ambassadors to come forward to create new events. “We want to give the opportunity to have that experience of learning in an environment where the groups of women are all passionate about the same thing.”
“SRAM is a company that has taken notice of the gender disparity in the industry and is moving to lower the barrier of entry to work in the industry and in general to get more women on bikes,” adds Jarrell, before going on to say her role was created specifically to “put (SRAM’s) money where it’s mouth is.”
The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in this podcast belong solely to the host and guest speakers and are not necessarily representative of the views, thoughts, and opinions held by Quality Bicycle Products (QBP).