How being inclusive is helping us to meet our organisational goals

British Cycling represent all cyclists, from those taking their first pedal strokes, to the riders in the Great British Cycling Team.

Find out how what steps this governing body is taking to understand, nurture and grow its organisation, by putting inclusion at the forefront.

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Our breadth must be our strength

As the national governing body for cycling in Britain, British Cycling governs the eight disciplines of the sport, encompassing everything from the children taking their first pedal strokes in the park to the country’s most storied riders in the Great Britain Cycling Team.

Our organisation represents the interests of members and cyclists everywhere by advocating for better conditions for all those who choose to get around by bike, and works hard to provide as many opportunities as possible for as many people as possible to discover the simplest of pleasures – getting out for a ride.

By definition, we are an incredibly a broad organisation, and within that breadth lies a huge amount of diversity. In the years ahead we are determined to understand, nurture and grow that diversity further – because we know that our breadth must be our strength.

Our steps towards being inclusive

As an organisation we are proud of the steps which we have already taken on this journey. In 2020 alone, we published our first Transgender and Non-Binary Participation Policy; commissioned new research with Sport England into the cycling landscape for disabled people; surpassed our ‘We Ride’ strategy target of getting one million more women on bikes – a target set back in 2013; and supported the creation of new groups and events for Muslim women in London.

Most excitingly of all, we announced the launch of a long-term project to bring all of these strands together under a single, five-year strategic framework, which will both drive us forward and enable us to better identify those areas where there is most to do – where the most stubborn imbalances exist. The support from Inclusive Employers was invaluable in guiding us through the strategic framework development phase.

The support from Inclusive Employers was invaluable in guiding us through the strategic framework development phase.

The framework will sit across the full prospectus of our work, including our membership, our workforce, the competitive cycling landscape and the opportunities we provide to help people to get on their bike across the country – ensuring that people from all backgrounds feel supported, welcomed and at home within cycling.

Building our inclusion framework on firm foundations

We know that there are challenges ahead of us, which is why we have sought to place the framework on firm foundations. Alongside its development, we have brought together two groups to work in tandem to check, challenge and appraise our work. 

A new, internal working group is made up of a broad cross-section of our workforce to champion change within the organisation and ensure that the vision is embedded within each and every one of our teams. This group will support our recently-appointed External Advisory Group, comprised of 14 independent experts from a range of backgrounds who will advise on the development, implementation, and evaluation of our approach. We were thrilled by the volume and calibre of applications for the group, demonstrating the passion and determination to tackle the issue in front of us, and their support and expertise will be vital as we continue to make progress on our journey.  

Why we placed inclusion at the forefront

One of our most fundamental beliefs is that riding a bike, being part of a club or group, taking part in competition, volunteering your time, or winning medals all contributes to advancing wider societal objectives – enabling people to develop life and professional skills, facilitating good physical and mental wellbeing, improving confidence and social skills, and providing a life-enhancing sense of purpose.  

One of our most fundamental beliefs is that riding a bike, being part of a club or group, taking part in competition, volunteering your time, or winning medals all contributes to advancing wider societal objectives.

By placing inclusion in the very forefront of our minds, we can achieve all of this and more. We must be open, accessible and welcoming to all communities and segments of our society, be flexible and responsive in meeting the needs of diverse riders and participants, nurture talent wherever it exists, and attract, develop and retain the best people with a breadth of diversity amongst the cycling workforce, volunteer base and governance structures.

While cycling does not yet fully represent the society we support, we recognise the power that our organisation has to harness real societal and cultural change. While there is always more to do, we are proud of the steps we have taken and are excited by what lies ahead, and the importance of diversity – that is, who are we are – and inclusion – what we do – cannot be understated.