By Charles Pekow — Women are still “substantially underrepresented” in owning bicycle and related parts manufacturers, according to the Small Business Administration (SBA). In March, SBA released the results of a study it commissions every five years on women’s ownership of many industries. SBA uses a formula to rank industries as “substantially underrepresented” if less than one-third of the participants in some of its programs are women-owned and operated.
Since the bicycle industry falls into this category, women-owned businesses are eligible for set-aside and sole-source contracts in certain instances. See https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/FR-2022-03-18/pdf/2022-05788.pdf.
“At People for Bikes (PFB), we’re very much focused on expanding opportunities for women” from training them to honoring and celebrating those who succeed in it, says Noa Banayan, PFB director of federal affairs. She recalled that the last Bicycle Leadership Conference featured a celebration for the more than 50 women attending.
“It showed the progress that had been made, but there is a long-standing culture of masculinity in the bike industry that can be really intimidating,” Banayan notes. The bike advocacy business, however, has been more welcoming to women, Banayan points out. The president of PFB, which represents the industry, is a woman, long-time biking advocate Jenn Dice. “There has to be the same type of access to jobs in the bike industry,” Banayan states.