Inspire Inclusion

Voices from the Cycling World

In celebration of International Women's Day, we bring to life stories that highlight the importance of inspiring inclusion through the recruitment and retention of female talent and the pivotal role brands like LOOK Cycle play in elevating the participation and achievement of women in sports. Conversations with our diverse team, ranging from production operatives to top-tier athletes, showed a multifaceted approach to championing women's roles in the cycling industry. LOOK employee Armelle Prud’hon, Team Cofidis Director Sportif (DS) Mélanie Briot, amateur athlete and banking professional Charlotte Simond, and LOOK Cycle CEO Federico Musi share their experiences, insights and the future they envision for women in the world of cycling.

Voices from the Cycling World

LOOK Cycle employee of 25 years, Armelle, described the satisfaction she gets through achieving exceptional results in her work and the encouraged any woman starting a career in the cycling industry to invest rigour in the tasks that require their attention.

During our conversation with Team Cofidis DS Mélanie she underscored the indispensable support from brands like LOOK Cycle in the professionalization of women's cycling, advocating for equality in equipment, salary, and performance. As an amateur athlete, Charlotte discussed the delicate balance of managing a demanding job while pursuing a cycling passion, expressing gratitude for Team LOOK Gravel’s enabling support.

Federico, our CEO, emphasized the strategic importance of diversity in fostering a balanced work environment and enhancing product offerings to meet the needs of a diverse clientele, including women.

A rapidly evolving landscape**

The cycling industry is witnessing a transformative shift, with more brands working hard to elevate women's participation and achievements within it. Despite the progress, significant barriers remain. The industry has been described as a predominantly ‘white male sport’, with products developed by men for men. However, Federico Musi noted, ‘the growing popularity of outdoor sports, including cycling, has fostered new disciplines and communities, necessitating a shift in product mix and marketing efforts to cater to a more diverse client base.’

To women aspiring to join the cycling industry, the message is clear: be confident, rigorous in your work, ambitious, and strong. This advice, rooted in the belief that achieving one's dreams is possible regardless of gender, is vital for inspiring the next generation of women in cycling. Mélanie Briot highlighted this to us explaining, “5 or 6 years ago it was difficult to imagine being in charge of a men's or women's cycling team... you could count on one hand the number of women in the sports management!” and yet this year she was appointed as Director Sportif for a women’s pro continental team.

At Team Cofidis they believe that through work, commitment, and a constant willingness to progress, they will be able to excite an ever-growing audience and thus contribute to the development of the sport. “Cohesion, solidarity, and self-improvement are our best arguments for bringing as many people as possible alongside us to experience the greatest emotions of cycling” says Mélanie.

When we asked Charlotte what the concept of giving female athletes a chance to thrive looked like to her, she replied that “Women's cycling has evolved significantly, it has become professional and looks nothing like women's cycling from 10 years ago. However, despite the progress made in recent years, significant challenges remain, normally in terms of wage equality, visibility, or training conditions, and in my opinion, we cannot yet speak of equal opportunities.”

We may have started the journey, but achieving gender equality in sports and beyond necessitates continued concerted efforts from all stakeholders, including companies, sponsors, and individuals. “It goes through a large number of initiatives, both in terms of public policy and private companies efforts. Sport infrastructure, training for coaching, sport equipment needs to be developed for women and not just for men. It requires everyone’s effort in the industry to keep that in mind, and challenge the existing habits”, explains Federico Musi.

Reflecting on International Women's Day

International Women's Day provides a moment to reflect on the progress made and the path ahead for gender equality in cycling. It is evident that this journey towards equality requires a collective effort and that there is still a long way to go. At LOOK Cycle, our commitment to the recruitment and retention of female talent alongside elevation of the participation and achievement of women in sports can be seen not only in our corporate values but also in our tangible support for female athletes and employees.

We will be sharing the conversations we had in more detail across our social channels in the coming days, and by doing so hope to inspire inclusion, raise awareness and encourage more federations, brands and individuals to join us in this collective effort.

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