Earlier this month Trek CEO and President John Burke was gonged with the Champion of Equality Award at the Women in Sports Foundation gala in New York.
Burke took to the stage and delivered a powerful three-minute speech encouraging others in the bicycle industry and beyond to do more to welcome women in both the sport and the bicycle business.
“When others looked at women’s cycling and saw a sport with a very small amount of support and a very small amount of resources, they saw a barn,” started Burke, in reference to the humble beginnings of his father’s now global bicycle company.
Trek has, certainly by bike industry standards, a strong history in promoting equality.
Back in June of 2016 Trek announced a special scholarship fund designed to develop the pool of female bicycle mechanics in the industry. Each scholarship totalled $3,000.
“At Trek we saw something much bigger. We saw an opportunity with women’s cycling that nobody else saw. We saw a world champion without a team, because she wanted to have a family. We saw a sport with a passionate global fan base that was rarely televised. we saw world class athletes with incredible stories, but nobody was telling those stories,” he said, before talking about his company’s investment in the 31 league strong National Interscholastic Cycling Association; a programme that develops student athletes across the U.S..
“When we look at women’s cycling we don’t see a barn, we see a path to a better future for an entire sport,” added Burke, adding “When somebody shows you a barn, continue to see something potentially much bigger.”
Tune in to hear the Trek CEO in full below: