First – thanks to everyone who came out on Tuesday (despite confusion over both the date AND the location) to share ideas about where we should be taking the WCF in Scotland.
There wasn’t an overall consensus about what the WCF should be for but there were multiple overlapping (and not mutually exclusive) suggestions:
- a space where women who are involved in cycling can get away from the more male-dominated environment for support/information/inspiration
- encouraging women in cycling to take more of a leadership role (overcoming their reluctance to put themselves forward despite being well qualified)
- an outward-facing encouraging role, normalising cycling among women, especially those who don’t already cycle
- continuing to run events
- overcoming the dearth of decent bike/kit/clothing options for women, perhaps through combining our buying power in some sort of a co-op or social marketing role (if the conversations at the end were anything to go by, stylish but effective waterproofs would be first on our list!)
- providing a list of women qualified to speak at events (and maybe even provide training encouragement for those who want to) so that the ‘Rachel Aldred was busy’ excuse won’t wash next time there’s an all-male panel.
- being able to speak for ‘women cyclists’ in all their wonderful variety.
- exchanging views between women cyclists of different kinds as we all bring our own perspectives (and sometimes have multiple perspectives ourselves).
The Facebook group provides some of these roles, but not everyone is on or wants to be on Facebook. This website needs a major overhaul as it was started for one purpose and hasn’t really be properly redone since.
On governance, in order to be able to claim to speak for others, we really need members and a way of canvassing their opinions. In order to be able to accept donations or get funding we need at a minimum to be a constituted body (we can upgrade that to something more formal later). One option is the Spokes funding model, whereby there is no formal fee to join, but donations are encouraged. This is relatively easy to administer.
So the final consensus seemed to be that we should investigate becoming a membership body, at least find out whether people would be interested in joining such a thing, and that we should continue to hold events, both with speakers and more informal socials.
At that point, the desire to eat overcame the gathering and we ended there.