Mar
27
2015

Why I Resigned from the Women For Tri Board

by hillarybiscay

Over a week ago now, I made the disappointing decision to resign from the Women for Tri board. This was not a decision that I took lightly, as when I commit to something, I have every intention of following through. But in this instance, ultimately I had to make the call to cut my losses.

Time is my most precious resource and I was willing to donate a significant amount of it to this project if it meant working on a project that would leave our sport better, particularly for the women in it. I love ironman. So much so that ironman completely changed the trajectory of my career, and in turn, my life. And I do not want to see everything that made me fall in love with this sport 14 years ago slowly fade away.

As the only professional triathlete on the board and a coach of up-and-coming professional female triathletes, I felt a great responsibility to look out for this group. Unfortunately, I realized very quickly that my intentions would be much better served and time better spent elsewhere. I had been truly optimistic that as an "advisory board," we would indeed have the ability to effect real change for women in our sport. But sadly, within a very short timeframe, it became apparent that the opportunity to "advise" on real issues was not happening. And, quite frankly, there were a couple of things that happened that I, Hillary Biscay, as part of this board, simply could not stomach being affiliated with in any way.

So that’s the story in a nutshell.

Through this process I got to know a couple of my new favorite women in our sport — the board brought them into my life, and for that, the experience was worth it. There are some amazing women involved in this project. The board has started a Facebook group which has been a great resource for newbies, but I think change needs to be happening from the top down as well. And in terms of the bigger mission for women in our sport, my strengths will be better utilized elsewhere.

NOW FOR THE GOOD NEWS:

I have joined forces with a group of some of the women I most respect in our sport to make our own coalition, TriEqual. These women are not afraid to take a stand and make things happen. We are working to increase participation and promote diversity on our great sport by expanding accessibility for all athletes, from beginners to elites. (Check out my last blog if you want to read what SMASH is doing to contribute to this project as well.) You too can get involved—read more on our website here.

{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

Joanna Zeiger March 27, 2015 at 6:41 am

Hillary-

It is a shame that things did not work out with the board. Too much conflict of interest, I suppose.

I like the TriEqual concept and mission. How can I get involved????

JZ

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hillarybiscay April 24, 2015 at 7:27 pm

JZ! Apologies that I am *just* going through comments and seeing this now. We would LOVE for you to be part of the group. Emailing you now too. thank you! hillary

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Pam kallio March 27, 2015 at 6:42 am

Hillary

You have been a personal hero of mine since I first met you so many years ago when you were a Pro at IMAZ and I was a lowly newbie age grouper and you stopped to help me on a training ride. I have grown with the sport and I also am a coach and between my training and coaching and working at TriSports.com have dedicated my time to the sport of triathlon. I too had very high hopes for the board but have been disalusioned with recent events. Your decision is the right one. I support it 100 percent. We need influential women that aren’t afraid to speak up. I spent 40 some years of my life in the corporate world. WTC needs to wake up while they still have time. Women like you will continue to do the right thing and be true leaders. Thank you for having the steel to do the right thing. We need your voice loud and true. Thank you.

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Kristine March 27, 2015 at 8:52 am

I’m so disappointed that you reached the decision that you needed to do this, only because it tells me how far away from equality the WTC probably is.

TriEqual looks like an amazing group, and hopefully can continue to raise awareness and perhaps exert some real pressure on the WTC, or better, their sponsors – influence them where they live, the bottom line.

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Kimberly Basala March 27, 2015 at 9:04 am

And this my friend, is why you have the respect from professional athletes, age group men and women, people in the industry, and athletes from many different sports. Thank you for continuing to be a LEADER in our sport. For ADVOCATING. For SPEAKING up, when many would just shut up. You’re a genuine and kind human being. I can’t even begin to think of the endless dreams and goals that TriEqual will accomplish. I am proud to join in the effort.

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marian March 27, 2015 at 9:21 am

thank you hillary! it has always been my belief and experience that it is better to work on changing the system from the outside.
way to go!

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Bre March 27, 2015 at 9:37 am

THANK YOUUUUUUUUUU!!!!!!!!!!!!!! a million times over for making that decision. It literally hurt my heart that you were on it and the board wasn’t making the changes that need to happen…thank you thank you thank you!!! Joyous. SO HAPPY.

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Alex March 27, 2015 at 9:40 am

Hillary,
I admire your passion and commitment to making the gifts of triathlon available and accessible to everyone!
hats off to you and this bold move!

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Rachel Tibbetts March 27, 2015 at 9:40 am

Thank you for standing up and working for equality!

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Ben March 27, 2015 at 9:55 am

Hils, you are a freakin’ rockstar. Thanks for fighting the good fight so that girls like little Miss Z will have all the same opportunities that her boy cousins have in front of them.

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Cheryl Palen March 27, 2015 at 9:58 am

I started running in the 70s and doing tris in the early 80s. I have begged for equality for women in sports since High School where s few friends and I started a women’s track team. I gathered with other women at a local race to assure that prize recognition/money/trips were given to top woman finishers as well as the men. Frankly I am tired of “fighting” for something that I am amazed we are even talking about at this point….what YEAR is this? What DECADE is this? When Ironman started becoming popular the whole thing was organized by a woman! It’s just so silly-I think we need to just get rid of some of the men “Pros”- especially if they are getting passed by age groupers or women. Kick them out-lessen the numbers…whatever. But glad you had the sense to bow out! Good luck to you and the board too!

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Clint Lien March 27, 2015 at 10:15 am

Good for you, Hillary.
Knowing what the right thing to do isn’t difficult to figure out – but doing it often takes a lot of guts.

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Amy March 27, 2015 at 10:27 am

I will continue to think you are a total badass rockstar. I had super mixed feelings about you being on the board. Of course, I was hopeful it could be great. But since the board clearly isn’t great I’m glad you stuck to your personal beliefs.

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Julie March 27, 2015 at 11:10 am

at the end of the day, we have to be able to look ourselves in the face and know our truth in the world- thanks for being a shining example of strength and integrity.

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Damie March 27, 2015 at 1:41 pm

I am always so proud of you- and of course, this is no exception. Love you, friend!

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LU Updyke March 27, 2015 at 2:31 pm

I have found I am always happier and at peace when I follow what my gut tells me. You obviously followed yours and I am sure, as you always do, you won’t quit until you’ve accomplished the goals you set out to do. Rock on lady

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Melani March 27, 2015 at 4:59 pm

Hillary: You are an inspiration. Your bold decision empowers me and will continue to empower others to stand behind this monumental issue. Mahalo for your passion and dedication to do what’s right. Much LAAV from DC!

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Laura siddall March 27, 2015 at 7:00 pm

Thank you!!

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Angelina March 28, 2015 at 7:59 am

Thank you for being a great example of standing for what you believe in

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Lucy Francis April 19, 2015 at 1:20 pm

Having looked (an participated in) at the WTC survey and Facebook page “whyITry”, I’m not surprised that you took this decision.
It seems to me that they are either missing the point or have an hidden agenda.

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