If you asked them, the women on this list would probably say they’re not supposed to be here, but mostly, they’re probably too busy getting shit done to think about lists. At least one would say in no uncertain terms that she does not deserve a gold star for doing her job while also having a vagina.
I have some sympathy for this perspective that somehow it is condescending to celebrate women simply for showing up and doing a good job at what they do. And yet. The internet has an unfortunate tendency to produce influential people lists that consist entirely of men. That sends a message, if inadvertently, that women are not influential people and that women don’t belong.
Maybe we shouldn’t make lists. Maybe we should tell more stories and stop making so many lists that inevitably leave people out. I could totally get behind this idea. But as long as these lists keep appearing, I’m going to show up and Ortberg the hell out of them. (To Ortberg. Yes, this is a verb. And a mighty one.)
So, without any further hand-waving, here are some women who do things with bikes. You should know them, maybe. And say hello to them if they happen to cross your path. They are all pretty rad people. They are influential. They definitely belong.
Also, I’ve almost certainly left some awesome people out. Feel free to add them in the comments or flame me mercilessly on Twitter. I won’t mind. I might even learn something.
As the general manager of Giant Bicycles, Elysa Walk directs one of the largest – if not the largest – bike brands in the world. She got her start in the software industry before joining Giant in the human resources department. After four years at Giant, Walk became general manager in 2007. Want to know more? Read this interview by Bicycling’s Leah Flickinger.