Anything BUT Possible – Our Fight for Equality in Triathlon
The ground is shifting.Professional Women’s Cycling and now TriEqual.
The women of Title IX, like myself, are mad as hell and not going to take it anymore. Our daughters are empowered and pissed. Our young girls grew up believing that anything is possible. As Moms, we truly believed by 2015 anything would be possible. Now that our daughters are adults, they found that anything is possible except:
- Equal pay – Narrow the Gap
- Running equal length courses
- Achieving equal pro slots at the Ironman World Championship
- And the list goes on…
And what about our sons? They are now husbands and fathers who believe that we deserve equality. They will not idly stand by when the women and daughters they love face discrimination and unequal opportunity.
Companies that get it will be supported by their customers and improve their bottom line. Companies that ignore our cries for equality, will soon realize the damage done to their brand will be long lasting.
The World Triathlon Corporation (owner of Ironman), has chosen to sell a dream with the tagline of “Anything is Possible”. Selling an aspirational message carries with it a responsibility for your corporation to steward its values. Can you imagine if the caveat to Disney’s message, “Where Dreams Come True”, only applied to boys and half the amount of girls. What do you think would happen to the Disney brand?
Unfortunately, WTC blames its inability to steward its values on its customers. They claim there are not enough good women, there are not enough women, there are not enough spaces on the pier etc. The data proves WTC wrong.
What do the customers hear? As woman that it is our fault. And we should go away. When your company chooses blaming the victim as a corporate strategy, you have already lost in the court of public opinion.
What do we as customers think? We think that WTC expanded without a strategic plan in place to address its effect on its premier event. This shows a lack of vision and leadership. Imagine if the Oscars only had best picture and not best documentary, best cartoon etc.
And as the worldwide expansion of Ironman continues, our premier event becomes unattainable for almost all triathletes. Kona became our premier event because it was possible. As it becomes impossible, we as repeat customers may fade away. As women, we realize we were not wanted in the first place.
The ground is shifting. I predict earthquakes to follow. Anything is possible.
TriEqual is a group of men and women dedicated to fairness, development and equality in the sport of triathlon. As such, TriEqual aims to ensure that all groups within the triathlon community are treated equally and with respect. Further, we aim to increase participation and diversity by increasing accessibility for all athletes, from beginners to elites.