Shift Up Podcast: How do we attract and retain women in the bike biz?

The latest in the Bridge The Gap series of the Shift Up Podcast, which this episode focuses on attracting and retaining women in the trade, is now live at the head of the homepage

This week’s guests are Joe Nocella and Meredith Klein from 718 Cyclery in Brooklyn, New York. A full-time teacher, Klein helps Nocella coordinate the shops women’s clinics and rides in a bid to grow and diversify the pool of local cyclists.

Backed by QBP, which itself is creating fresh opportunity for female interns, the episode begins with Klein explaining the link between her role as a teacher and the desire to drive under-served demographics towards cycling.

“The School has a partnership with the non-profit Bike New York and I was introduced to 718’s educational programmes. I was interested in talking more about expanding bike education in the public school sector,” says Klein.

A subsequent meeting led to a partnership in which Klein took over an at the time yet to be determined women’s cycling school, as put forward by 718. Heading on for three years down the line the collaboration has snowballed, successfully inspiring countless people to take up cycling.

Explaining how the bike shop became so actively involved in driving fresh participation, Nocella says that the ambition was never a business decision, instead more a drive to put himself in the shoes of others in a bid to help overcome barriers that some may not see.

“I’m involved with a group called the Brooklyn Lacrosse Club and I felt that there were a lot of people that could be exposed to this. It was all the same looking kid at the conventions, so we started to drive new participation and it’s been wildly successful. What that taught me, though, was that there are barriers to entry to that particular sport. Everything we do involves lowering the barriers and that learning has in some way transferred over to my shop. For me it’s about understanding the opportunities that have been given to me, but perhaps not to others.”

This train of thought has translated into careful thought on the store’s own employment. In its job posting, 718 is actively targeting those who may traditionally have felt excluded or unqualified for entry into the bike industry.

To tune in, hit play below or head to the homepage!

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).