Gender pay gap: how does the cycling industry fare?

The media has been awash with reports of gender paygap inequalities in recent weeks, with corporations such as transport giants RyanAir, finance company Virgin Money and banking group HSBC coming under fire for the drastic differences in salaries between men and women.

The issues within professional gender inequality are far from isolated cases; recent studies have highlighted a national average wage difference of 18.4 per cent – women make up just 44.1 per cent of higher paid jobs.

A massive 78 per cent of companies face pay inequalities that favour men.

These stark statistics however don’t reflect the averages in some of the UK’s biggest cycling companies. Cycle retail giant Wiggle has an average paygap of 0.3 per cent, whilst highstreet mainstay Evans Cycles has revealed a gap of 4.1 per cent in favour of female employees. On the higher end of the industry scale, Outdoor and Cycle Concepts, parent brand of Cotswold Outdoor, posted an average paygap of 7.5 per cent.

British Cycling recently released a statement to address the 13 per cent gap between the pay of its male and female employees, which reduced drastically over the course of the last nine months from well over the national average at 21 per cent.

Speaking about the controversy, the organisation stated it was, “working hard to close the gender pay gap".

“In order to grow and develop as an organisation, we need engaged employees who get the support they need to perform at their best, who are rewarded fairly and who are helped to develop their careers,” said chair Frank Slevin.

“We have already introduced a number of measures including an annual culture survey and flexible working hours for staff. Further measures will be developed as we strive to be an organisation which prioritises its people as much as its performance.”

Wage gaps aren’t the only financial gender inequality news to make headlines in recent months. In March, organisers of the world renowned Women’s Tour – part of the Tour Series – confirmed that they would increase the prize fund of the event to match the Men’s Tour pot. In previous years, the difference between the two sums has amounted to the equivalent of £49,107 (or €55,000). This year, both funds will sit at €90,000, or £80,355.

"It’s fantastic,” said 2016 Women’s Tour winner Lizzie Deignan in an interview with the BBC. “This organisation is really setting a precedent of how it should be done in 2018. It shouldn’t be a topic, but it is. Right from the start, this race has always been about equality and they are doing it perfectly."

Many large scale industry companies are yet to reveal gender pay gaps, although BikeBiz has reached out to many. 

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