A couple of years ago my girlfriends and I entered the Enduro mountain bike race. It was tough to get out and train over the summer months due to the school holidays but we cycled frequently and we were very much looking forward to the event. We named our all girl team “Tour de Force.” We were up early on race day and we were all pretty nervous, not as much banter as usual.
We arrived, took the bikes out and waited at the start line. What was the most striking thing? No girls, really few females, it was an all-male environment and we completely stood out. On some part of the race, someone called out “The chicken run is to the left girls.” For those of you that are not aware, in mountain biking there are jumps on certain tracks and you can choose not to go on those jumps and cycle alongside on the flat path known as “The Chicken Run.” As accomplished cyclists who have been mountain biking for years we are very capable and bombed along the jumps and obstacles. The day after the race, I checked the results board and it confirmed my suspicions, in total, there was a 7% female contingent.
Professionally, at the time, I was having a similar experience. As a back to work mum, searching for roles in sales and marketing to fit around my home life, was daunting to say the least. Roles at a level suitable to my experience and skill set were simply not available with the hours I needed. Flicking through local business magazines, I struggled to spot a female face... Where have all the girls gone?
Living in the Forest of Dean and the Wye Valley, I have to say, from experience that the cycling is some of the best in the country, indeed the world. I now have a local “tribe” of girlfriends to cycle with and we have amazing adventures our gorgeous landscape. When we return from a cycle it feels as though we have been on a mini holiday and we have really connected through our love of cycling. Our shared experiences range from escaping bulls and badger spotting, to discovering our local villages and woods, happening across amazing buildings, architecture and scenery.
At work, I have done the same, forming Resource Harbour with my two female co founders. We are a recruitment company with a difference, working with local companies to open up professional roles across IT, HR, marketing, sales, finance and more, to a diverse and exceptional workforce who are often overlooked by traditional recruitment and retention methods. We specialise in helping businesses diversify their workforce by finding excellent candidates that might not be found by traditional agencies and job boards. We do this via partnerships and events that reach out to professionals who might be overlooked by traditional recruitment methods, or feel unable to apply for standard job ads.
We recruit full time and part time, working with businesses to open up their roles to attract and retain amazing people who need a little flexibility to make their chosen career doable. This can be as light touch as working unusual hours to suit the business, through to two people working as a structured job share; staffing a one role with two compatible professionals. In everything we do, we have diversity at the core.
Three years after the male dominated Enduro race, and I am racing again. I am competing in the Ladies Do Downhill. It’s on my bucket list and I think I’ll do this and that will be it, but you never know I might get the bug and continue. I am in the grand vet (over 50s) category, there isn’t an over 60 (super vet) category for women – so I might need to race again in another 6 years.
If you want to work in a career you love but still have time to bike, see your family or do whatever rocks your ride, then come talk to us at firstname.lastname@example.org