One of the most important relationships that The Cyclists’ Alliance built during the summer of 2017 is with FIFPro, which is the global union representing over 60,000 professional footballers, from over 63 countries. This was an important step to help us understand how to best create an association by, and for, women professional cyclists.
FIFPro recently published a detailed report on the working conditions inside professional women’s football, as part of its efforts to build up the rights and economic opportunities for its athletes. The 2017 FIFPro Global Employment Report, researched and written in conjunction with the University of Manchester (GB), contains over 41 pages of findings which are summarized from a survey of 3,500 women footballers who play or have competed at the elite team level.
While women’s pro cycling and football are very different sports, FIFPro’s report describes many shared cultural and economic issues. Professional women’s football has grown by leaps and bounds since the mid-1990s, and today there are over seven times as many pro-level women in football as in cycling. Yet the consistent lack of economic opportunities, lower level of investment as compared to men’s football, and gender rights inequalities are unfortunately closely aligned with the findings of The Cyclists’ Alliance’s surveys of our fellow women professional cyclists in early 2017.
We applaud FIFPro for making such a deep investment to understand its women athletes. We hope that FIFPro’s continuing efforts will increase the rights of and career opportunities for its women athletes, and bring the world closer to gender equality in sport. The Cyclists’ Alliance - along with FIFPro and other athlete union partners in the World Players Association - seeks to achieve the same successes for women in professional cycling.
If you are a professional woman cyclist, please join The Cyclists’ Alliance today.