We know we must back statements with meaningful actions to affect change. Over the last few years, we have increased our internal diversity, inclusion, and equity work at SRAM, admittedly primarily focused on gender diversity. With that, we realize we must do more. Here are some of the ways we have taken action against inequality in cycling and beyond:
We are providing our employees, athletes, and ambassadors training to identify, understand, and counter racism. We have sought out the best partners and have allocated funds to do this in the most effective and meaningful way.
SRAM Athlete Code of Conduct
We have updated our code of conduct policy moving forward and every athlete and ambassador will sign a contract that includes the following language that is in-line with our team member handbook:
Anti-Harassment and Discrimination Policies: It is SRAM’s policy to foster spaces (virtual and physical) free from harassment and any other form of discrimination. Accordingly, SRAM has zero-tolerance for harassment in any form or other such unlawful discrimination. Anyone in violation of this policy will be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination.
We are increasing our investment in relationships with Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) athletes and ambassadors because we believe representation in cycling matters and is an essential part of making cycling a more inclusive space.
Since June 2020, we have increased our financial commitment to BIPOC in cycling, working towards our stated goal of at least a $100,000 increase in our funding. Some of the new projects we supported include:
- Contributed $20,000 in support of a public mural honoring Marshall “Major” Taylor in his hometown of Indianapolis, IN. Major Taylor was a Black bicycle racer who won a world cycling championship in 1899. He was a tireless advocate for racial justice throughout his life and career.
- We doubled our annual support to QBP’s Community Grant program for 2021 to $10,000. This program works with suppliers and bike shops to create and encourage ridership among youth and underserved populations while improving the industry’s sustainability and inclusivity.
- Partnered with former world cross-country MTB world champion Kate Courtney, NICA, Syncros, Scott, and RockShox on a new “Sparkle On Scholarship” program for student-athletes transitioning to college. SRAM leaders will actively participate as mentors to the recipients.
- SRAM awarded the League of American Bicyclists a $20,000 grant for their work with bike clubs focusing on resources primarily serving BIPOC communities.
- Underground Railroad Ride film project ($15K), documenting activists' bikepacking trip from Mobile, Alabama to Washington, DC, along the historic route
- "Cycling at the Intersections" virtual event ($7K), a live discussion about the experiences of Black trans, femme, women, and non-binary cyclists. Sponsorship fees went towards panelist compensation and five organizations of panelists' choosing: Southern Fried Queen Pride, Fort Negrita, Lambda Legal, The Womanist Working Collective, and Sex Workers Outreach Project.
- 1919 Chicago Race Riot Route ($5K), a six-week campaign to raise awareness for an important event in Chicago history and raise funds for Blackstone Bicycle Works, a local non-profit/ bike shop helping BIPOC youth through educational and vocational programs.
As we continue this work within the cycling industry, we also want to focus on investing in events that provide platforms that elevate different voices and perspectives. This is where we’ve started:
- SRAM helped organize special workshops as part of the National Bike Summit (Feb 28) with strong diversity among presenters and participants.
- Sponsoring the Bicycle Leadership Convention’s Day 2 in 2020, including panels dedicated to Diversity, and inviting all SRAMmies to participate at no cost, and creating reduced registration slots for BIPOC individuals to join the conversation at the Bicycle Leadership Conference.
- Sponsoring the Bicycling magazine Diversity Panel on October 21, 2020: Cycling at the Intersections: A live discussion about the experiences of black trans, femme, women, and non-binary cyclists.
SRAM Corporate Plan
Improving Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) at SRAM is a key priority in our corporate plan and strategy. We are creating a DEI Council to serve as an internal steering committee. The DEI Council will include a representative from our three areas of focus – BIPOC, Women, and Allyship:
- The SRAM Women’s Leadership Committee (formed in 2014) will continue its focus on women at SRAM
- The Diversity Committee (formed in 2018) will focus on BIPOC team members at SRAM
- We will focus on Allyship:
- Allyship is a lifelong process of building relationships based on trust, consistency, and accountability with non-majority individuals and groups of people. It is an opportunity to grow and learn about ourselves while building confidence in others.
- Providing two DEI training courses (6 hours per course) starting in Q1 for U.S. team members. The second phase will extend to team members in Europe and Asia.
- Leveraging diversity dashboards to make our internal diversity/representation and candidate pipeline data visible. We created a dashboard specific for our engineering function that shows the available engineering graduate pool’s internal data and external demographics. These tools help managers increase awareness, help identify and leverage best practices, and create action plans to where we need improvements.
- Continue to leverage Mentorship Rings facilitated by SRAM leaders as a development tool to enhance leadership skills for women at SRAM and to help all SRAMmies in building relationships and networking.
- Expanded the job boards where we directly post openings. Boards include Grow Cycling Foundation, Camber Outdoors, and Handshake as we work to broaden our reach to attract diverse candidates to open positions.
- We know that there are gaps in our understanding and expertise around DEI and we will identify new partners who can help us as we become more inclusive for under-represented races and ethnicities in our company and the industry.
SRAM partners with advocacy groups that support a collective DEI effort. North American efforts activities are highlighted here, but there are significant ongoing efforts globally.
We are actively participating as members and on boards of organizations dedicated to inclusion within the greater outdoor industry.
Part of our criteria for advocacy organizations we fund includes:
- Eliminating racism in cycling
- Amplify the voice of BIPOC advocates
- Promote cycling to BIPOC individuals and communities
- Promote gender equality and access
SRAM Funds: IMBA US, IMBA Canada, and NICA
A key to more BIPOC people participating in MTB is better access to trails where they live: "More Trails Close to Home”
- More outreach to new land managers like cities and park districts
- Build more bike parks like SRAM-led Big Marsh (Chicago) in the center of underserved populations
- Redirecting funding streams to specific areas of need
- Expanding NICA programs into low income and BIPOC communities
- Connecting to NICA to IMBA trail development assistance
For more than two years, SRAM has been researching how and where road cycling is growing, and we are developing ways of working with partner organizations globally to share best practices. The focus is on growth in nontraditional participation. We hope to discuss the next steps with partner groups in the next year.
Everyday Cycling - Commuting, Recreational, Fitness, etc.
The strategy has been to achieve mainstream growth in the US, with cycling demographics more closely reflecting national demographics.
Key SRAM Supported Efforts:
- CalBike has pushed an initiative entitled, “How to Meet Public Demand for Safe Bikeway Networks–Affordably, Quickly, and Inclusively”
- Active Transportation Alliance’s development of a network of community groups to push for the equitable distribution of cycling networks
- Big Marsh Bike Park – Southeast side of Chicago – Pump Track
- SRAM supports local organizations such as West Town Bikes and Blackstone Bicycle Works. These organizations serve BIPOC communities primarily through a variety of youth development and education programs
- People for Bikes' DEI work includes:
- Led an equity-focused bike-share expansion program - "The Better Bikeshare Partnership"
- DEI data is a part of their cities rating program
- Equity is a central element of their cities program
- Places for Bikes, both in which cities they work with (e.g., Memphis and New Orleans) and within each city's goals.
World Bicycle Relief
With support from SRAM and other industry leaders, F.K. Day and Leah Missbach Day launched World Bicycle Relief in 2005 to provide bicycles for those in need. 15 years later, World Bicycle Relief has mobilized more than 525,000 people in 21 countries around the world with life-changing Buffalo Bicycles.
SRAM continues to work with all of these partners to make DEI aspects of advocacy more effective, and more integrated into overall work. Advocacy is the power to influence change. We have more power if our coalition is fully diverse and inclusive, targeting the most resources to those who can benefit the most from cycling.
We acknowledge we still have a long way to go, but we will continue to Listen. Learn. Take Action.