The run specialty industry is being asked to take part in a first-ever survey of the state of diversity, equity and inclusion within the business.
As part of the Running Industry Diversity Coalition’s (RIDC) five-year strategic plan, the organization is partnering with Bentley University to gain helpful insights from underrepresented runners in the U.S.
The first research project currently underway, supported by New Balance, focuses on the current state of diversity with regard to road running participation and employment in the running industry. RIDC is asking for all organizations in the running industry – large and small – to participate in the first -ever comprehensive research.
“RIDC is focused on racial justice in the running industry and running culture. It is imperative to understand both the qualitative and quantitative baseline measures so that we can demonstrate changes over time while holding the industry accountable for equity and inclusion,” explains Kiera Smalls, RIDC executive director.
The RIDC's goal for the survey is to create a baseline study that measures racial and ethnic representation for employment, leadership and ownership across all sectors of the running industry in the United States.
“The RIDC believes that the future of running is diverse but we must build inclusion, equity and safety for all BIPOC runners at all levels of our businesses and communities,” adds Chris Lampen-Crowell, RIDC co-chair and co-owner of Gazelle Sports. “Doing this work is the right thing to do and it’s essential for businesses that want to thrive in today’s marketplace and remain relevant in the future. However, we need to know our starting line in 2022 so that we can measure future success.”
The survey is open until November 11.
Objectives For Research Project #1:
- Source statistics to outline the current racial and ethnic composition of running participation in the U.S.
- Source statistics to outline the current racial and ethnic composition of running industry employment, leadership and ownership in the U.S.
- Analyze and compare the current state of diversity within running participation vs. the current state of diversity within running industry employment, leadership, and ownership
The statistics will be utilized to measure and track progress annually with regard to racial and ethnic representation in running industry employment, leadership and ownership; measure and track racial and ethnic representation in running participation annually; and help organizations in the running industry create goals, build action plans, and measure progress
The Research Team is comprised of Erin Flynn, Professor, Bentley University; Fikayo Babatunde, Account Manager/Retail Business Group, NPD; Jenna Klein Jonsson, Partner, Blaze Partners; Shelle Santana, Professor, Bentley University; Rachel Donnellan, Research Assistant, Bentley University; and Ramiro Aguirre, Research Assistant, Bentley University.
Beyond the current research effort, RIDC’s long-term goals include:
- Increase BIPOC employment
- Increase BIPOC-leadership/ownership
- Increase share of BIPOC suppliers, vendors and contractors hired
- Increase BIPOC participation, increase in authentic BIPOC representation in media and marketing
- 100 percent of BIPOC runners will report feeling welcome, included, and safe at running stores, clubs, and events.