Video: Trek President John Burke Accepts Champion for Equality Award from Women's Sports Foundation

Nov 13, 2019
by Sarah Moore  


Trek President John Burke and Trek were recognized by the Women’s Sports Foundation at the 40th Annual Salute to Women in Sports Awards gala in New York City for their dedication to gender equity through the advancement of female participation and equality in cycling, both on the recreational and professional level.

bigquotesWe saw an opportunity with women’s cycling that no one else saw. We saw a World Champion without a team because she wanted to have a family. We saw a sport with a passionate global fanbase which was rarely televised. We saw world-class athletes with incredible stories but no one was telling those stories. We saw athletes at the height of their careers working part-time jobs to make ends meet. We looked at that and we knew we could do better. We saw a path to a better future for an entire sport.Trek President John Burke

The Champion for Equality Award is presented to "an individual or organization that has shown an unwavering commitment to gender equality and to the advancement of girls and women in sports. Through their personal and professional example, the recipients have inspired others to advocate for diversity and inclusion, to hire, support, mentor and elevate women, and to strive for equality because it’s the right thing to do."

Organizing a cyclocross World Cup race that had equal winner payout for the first time, establishing a women's WorldTour cycling team, and championing equality in the workplace are a few of the reasons that John Burke and Trek were the award's recipient this year.


bigquotesJohn Burke inspires others to embrace and promote diversity and inclusion. As an ally and advocate for equality, Burke, President of Trek Bicycle, works hard to meet female cyclists' unique needs. He joined his father's business in 1984, taking over his current role in 1997.

In 2000, Trek became the first major bike manufacturer to develop women's specific designs and accompanying educational programs to increase female participation in cycling. In 2017, John demonstrated steadfast dedication to gender parity, announcing Trek would be the first organizer of a cyclocross World Cup to offer equal winner payout to men and women. The UCI would eventually follow Trek's lead by mandating that by 2021, equal prize money would be standard at all cyclocross World Cup races. He established a women's cycling team, the Trek Segafredo Women's team, which competes in the UCI Women's WorldTour. The 14 members receive equal support, staffing and equipment to the men. Trek also champions equity in the workplace, encouraging retailers to hire more women and offering training program scholarships specifically for women. In 2016, the company formed the Women's Advocate program of 80 global members who work to strengthen female ridership opportunities in their hometowns.
Women's Sport Foundation


You can read about the other award recipients from the 40th Annual Salute to Women in Sports Awards gala here.


60 Comments

  • 85 1
 We saw so many bikes that looked like sessions.
  • 4 2
 Comment of the day
  • 5 24
flag endurocat (Nov 13, 2019 at 13:56) (Below Threshold)
 This is a joke, right?
Their Downhill team has no Women !
  • 14 1
 @endurocat: It's only a matter of time before they add another Rachel Atherton caliber woman for their DH team. Let's not forget that Trek also has phenomenal team members who participate in: Enduro, Freeride, XC, CX, Road, Triathlon, etc
  • 4 26
flag endurocat (Nov 13, 2019 at 18:38) (Below Threshold)
 @sledshed: Touched a nerve?
You must be a Trek owner.
They had a budget for more than one female riderr, and instead they spent it on four guys .
  • 12 0
 @endurocat: poke around racing.trekbikes.com
Trek-Segafredo Men, which is understandably an all-men team, is the only team with no women on it other than downhill. Meanwhile there is the all-women Trek-Segafredo counterpart, TFR CX is all women, TFR XC is mostly women, and women make up about a third to half of the rest of their teams. Plus, Rachel parted with Trek only very recently to pursue her own brand so I have to think she left rather than them cutting her.
  • 3 0
 @endurocat: nah man. It’s chill. I just think focusing on that one discipline is a wee bit short sighted, but it’s all good. Btw I do own a Trek, and a Scott, and a GT.
  • 22 1
 My ex-wife rides a trek
  • 91 7
 Whole one or half of it?
  • 8 5
 @WAKIdesigns: that took me three times reading it to get it. Quality joke
  • 24 5
 Well done, Trek!
  • 16 3
 Obligatory: This is the company that fired LeMond when he called Armstrong a doper.
  • 7 0
 Greg lemond GREAT cyclist. TERRIBLE businessman.
  • 10 1
 Well done Trek... certainly wasn't going to be Nike winning this award www.nytimes.com/2019/11/07/opinion/nike-running-mary-cain.html
  • 5 0
 I will say, my wife has certainly noticed Trek's push for women's cycling. Even though Trek is getting rid of a lot of their WSD bikes, their "mens" bikes are now offered in a variety of colors that appeal to both men and women as well as being offered in sizes that are smaller than were available when their were WSD equivalent bikes. The Fuel Ex for example has been offered in a true XS size ever since they axed the Lush.
  • 2 0
 I wouldn't say their getting rid of women's models. Most women models are just men's that have been painted and added women specific stuff on it (stem and saddle). What does everyone do when they buy a new bike, get a new stem and a new saddle (or switch them out).

I'm a short women, and own a lot of trek "men's" mtb. They're great and I'm happy that they're making a bike that's small enough to fit me.
  • 3 0
 What they saw, more than five years ago... was a steadying increase in the numbers of women competitors at cycling events. They also drew inspiration from the fact that over the past few decades, the numbers of female runners (at events) had gradually increased from being a small minority to being roughly half of the competitors at mainstream events. They expected to see the same trend happen in cycling. I know this from being present at a Trek dealer launch about 5 or 6 years ago. They saw an opportunity.
  • 3 0
 Hope this guy did some yoga before giving this speech. He about dislocated his shoulder patting himself on the back.

How about Trek actually make a decent bike for young ladies that isnt expensive hot garbage with cash grab components like 5 lb coil forks that literally do nothing but dupe them into thinking they have suspension like Mom. They have massive buying power and cant make a nice kids hardtail to save their life. Vitus/CRC did it for 480$ with hydraulic brakes, decent geometry and an ok air fork and no crappy plus tires. Norco and Rocky are doing it. Spawn/TrailCraft/Prevelo are doing it. Commencal is doing it. But Trek (and other big box brands) doesnt care about kids. /rant
  • 1 0
 Well done Trek......maybe bring back women's bikes. My girl just bought a LIV Intrigue advanced 1. Although it is a realy nice bike but its clashing with the session, slash, lush and 2 madones.
  • 4 1
 I feel sorry for women because transgender men will soon be dominating there sport.
  • 12 8
 Marketing don’t care
  • 13 14
 We'll done Trek. THIS is how to increase brand desirability.

Do the right thing» We take notice» $$$$$$.

Take note marketing departments, there's a better way than cramming ever more unpalatable high margin crap down our throats.
  • 9 3
 Lmfao
  • 11 3
 Not to put down female involvement in sports, but if your bike isn't a fun ride then I could care less about what you're doing for social issues lol.
  • 3 8
flag snl1200 (Nov 13, 2019 at 15:48) (Below Threshold)
 @50percentsure you know who Trek is right? All credit where it is due for supporting women in sport, kudos for that Trek genuinely and it is much needed, but lets not step away from the fact that they have been at the forefront of "cramming ever more unpalpatable high margin crap down our throats"- or as they have recently got the patent for, the "CEMUHMCDOT" system now on all models as well as SWDN spinny science, WGAF bar turning capability and HSAA Stoppy things.
  • 18 18
 Where are those female mechanics from your scholarship that are working for the female racing team? The entire mechanic squad is male.
  • 3 0
 I was under the impression the athletes on the race team select mechanics? no?
  • 2 2
 @HaydukeLives: Pretty sure only the top of the top athletes get to pick their mechanic. Others are hired by the team. I've known quite a few great female mechanics that have gone through the Trek school and wrench professionally for race teams. Would love to see that representation on the Trek Team as well.

Also. Love the username. 3
  • 1 3
 @bliketheletter: Thanks for the reply, interesting. I wonder if there is a particular reason, outside of sexism, for this.
  • 3 2
 Where’s the female dh racers ?
  • 12 0
 Trek has probably asked the same question...
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