Trek welcomed 54 women’s advocates from around the world, along with seven members of the international media, to the company’s global headquarters in Waterloo, WI this week for its inaugural Global Women’s Summit.

The three-day summit — which comes on the heels of Trek’s first week-long, women’s-only, scholarship-funded certified service class — will serve as the kickoff event for Trek’s larger ongoing campaign to make cycling more accessible to women around the world.

In Waterloo, advocates will attend seminars with Trek’s marketing, engineering, design, retail, manufacturing, product development and sales departments to learn tools that will help strengthen the relationship between women riders and retailers in their hometowns.

The advocates will hear an address by Trek President John Burke on the importance of advocacy in the company’s history and the trajectory of current and future programs with PeopleForBikes, DreamBikes, National Interscholastic Cycling Association (NICA), International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA) and others. They will also visit with mountain bike icon Gary Fisher and attend group road and mountain bike rides led by Trek Travel.

“We’re starting small, but we have big goals for this program,” said Amanda Schulze, women’s business manager. “This formula puts talented, enthusiastic, approachable women cyclists in the field where they can make the biggest impact, and gives them the tools they need to lead the initiative in their communities to get more women on bikes. We’re thrilled to introduce this program, and we hope this model will continue to grow along with the industry.”

The 54 Trek Women’s Advocates were chosen from a diverse applicant pool of more than 250, and bring extraordinarily varied backgrounds to the program. The cohort is composed of bike shop professionals, an adventure therapist, a retired police sergeant, a student in mechanical engineering, a retired chief medical officer from the Betty Ford Clinic, a pianist, a mathematics professor and an Amgen scientist, among others.

Following the conclusion of the Global Women’s Summit, the 54 Trek Women’s Advocates will return to partner retailers in their respective communities to lead outreach efforts, group rides, clinics and events over the course of the next year.

“Our goal with the summit,” said Schulze, “is to help grow community and create a more inclusive industry and environment. It’s a grassroots effort. This is going to be a really fun week, and these women are going to do extraordinary things. In the end, what they do in their communities this year is going to make cycling better for women everywhere.”