Last night, I commended a triathlete for the work she’s doing to push forward the cause of gender equality in triathlon. Her reply has prompted me to look at the situation differently. She’s just tired of justifying why women deserve a seat at the table or a place at the start line. It’s 2015…
Rarely are any of us presented with an obvious opportunity to actually change the world. Ironman / Life Time Fitness have this opportunity before them.
Rather than defending a past decision to base the number of pro slots on gender demographics of current participation, please base it on a vision for the desired future. Become what you strive for, now.
Truly successful organizations do not ‘manage change’. They find brilliant opportunities within the challenge. Ironman stands at this crossroad right now: Manage the present based on the past or become the most powerful change in sport today?
I regularly ask businesses to write their own headlines. What do you want to be known for? How do you want your story to be told? What does your brand stand for, if we look solely at your actions?
I’d ask Ironman the same right now. What do you want your headline to be?
Ironman Leads the Charge for Gender Equality in all Sports
Ironman Caves and Finally Agrees to Increase the Number of Pro Slots for Women
One of these headlines will support the stated objectives of the formation of Women for Tri Advisory Board. The other will not. One will weaken the brand. The other strengthens it and expands its reach to the very population where growth is being sought.
Look, I’m an age-grouper who’s incredibly unlikely to ever even travel to Kona. But last fall, I sat glued to the Kona stream and flooded social media with my enthusiasm as I watched an incredible women’s race. I’m not asking for slots that I will ever dream of occupying – I’m asking Ironman to inspire me! Inspire all of the future age-groupers and up and coming young athletes.
Please, let go of the past and of the limiting practices that impede your ability to inspire the most people possible, worldwide.
Equality is no longer a subject for debate. Equality is no longer something that we should have to fight for. Please don’t make us fight anymore – we have training to do!
An Open Letter to the Women for Tri Board of Advisors – If you’d like to make your support clear – please follow this link and add your name to the comments.