Women's Running took home the award fro Diversity and Inclusion at the British Society of Magazine Editors Talent Awards
We are thrilled to announce that Women’s Running has won the Diversity and Inclusion Award at the BSME Talent Awards 2022. At a glittering in-person ceremony at 100 Wardour Street, the team were awarded their trophy in front of hundreds of magazine and media professionals, by BBC’s Dr Ranj, who Esther hugged with gusto.
In our entry, we explained our belief and drive to make change.
Our passion for diversity and inclusion at Women’s Running is fundamental to our brand, and sets us apart in the sports media industry. Our cover stars are always the subject of an in depth interview and they are representative of diverse ethnicity, body types and abilities. Over the 12 issues published in 2021, our cover stars have included 7 women from BAME backgrounds, and one visibly disabled runner.
We note that other brands proclaim loudly when they feature a person of colour on their cover: we don’t. We know we have to over-represent because we understand that in order to encourage more women to run, we need to ensure they see themselves represented.
Another crucial part of our ethos is to provide space for diverse voices and experiences. As part of that process, we collaborated with Sabrina Pace-Humphreys, the co-founder of Black Trail Runners, on a powerful piece on black women’s experiences of safety while running. We worked with her group, and also with Black Girls Do Run UK and the Emancipated Run Crew on our We Will campaign, to drive awareness of the catcalling, heckling and abuse that many women experience when they run. We worked with Black Girls Do Run UK on a black-women lead piece on group running and women’s safety during Black History Month for our October 2021 issue.
We interviewed Eddie Izzard on our podcast. Eddie was running a marathon every day in January 2021 to fundraise for important charities, and had recently explained a preference for she/her pronouns. We jumped at the chance to speak to her – a decision that garnered controversy, but it reinforced our opinion that we need to encourage all people who identify as women to run. We ran the podcast; we silenced the critics.
We interviewed Asics FrontRunner, trans runner Sian Longthope, in print and online, about her experiences of running and transitioning, resulting in a searingly honest account of both. As a result of the feature, Sian emailed us to say that her own father, who had struggled with the concept of her being transgender, had “turned a corner” as a direct result of reading it. She said: “I think we can definitively say the article was a huge success, so thank you so much for allowing me to share my story through your magazine. I really hope it’s gone some small way to helping people understand the human side to transition.”
It is by including voices such as Sian’s and Sabrina’s, by featuring women who run on blades, by interviewing women who set up running groups to encourage black and marginalised women to run, by commissioning writers who have lived experience of exclusion and racism, and by encouraging the brands we work with to live up to these expectations, that bit by bit, we normalise the content that we create, and encourage all people who identify as women to enjoy running for its physical and mental benefits.
The BSME said: “The judges were impressed with Women’s Running’s consistent commitment to diverse representation – on podcasts, covers and in putting together great storytelling. The results were powerful.”
The Women’s Running podcast was also shortlisted for the Podcast of the Year Award, but was pipped to the post by Radio Times. Of this category, the judges said: “This was one of the hardest categories they have judged, and any podcast on the shortlist could have won.”