measuring our impact
Making Change at the Grassroots Level
From the start, the Women Who FKT project has been about affecting the grassroots level – getting more women on the trails and setting FKTs as a way to empower and inspire. We believe in empowerment, collaboration, and community. We believe that FKTs can be a powerful tool to expand the trail and ultra community.
Historically, FKTs have had a reputation as a boys club- lots of dudes pounding their chests. And participation has reflected that. With races on hold during the COVID shutdowns, FKTs started getting a lot more attention generally and more women saw the potential of FKTs, but even then only about a third of FKTs published to the website were set by women. We think that can change. We want to see more women push their boundaries and claim space in the world of FKTs and look forward to seeing equal participation in FKTs from men and women.
Most exciting for us has been the response to this project around the country and even the world. What started as our local idea is growing beyond what we imagined, and we are harnessing the power of community to grow women’s participation in FKTs. We are celebrating their achievements and sharing their knowledge in an effort to elevate women’s accomplishments. We love hearing how women have been inspired to take on an FKT project and are using those projects to scaffold their outdoor skills into bigger races and adventures.
As this project continues to evolve, we see our mission as being one to educate, to share stories and to support and connect women from all communities in their FKT projects and dreams. We are committed to promoting diversity, inclusion and equity on the trails, and we hope to develop more resources to support women of all backgrounds on the trails. We will continue to build community, resources and support in a grassroots way. We are excited to see what our future holds.
Statistics from 2022
In mid June, 2022, we actually were able to flip the statistics and have more women’s FKTs on file for the year than men’s in Oregon and Washington.
Our final 2022 results: 44 percent of the FKTS were set by women, 49 percent by the men, .01 percent by non-binary and seven percent by mixed gender teams, showing significant growth in women’s participation. 51 percent of the FKTs set in 2022 had women involved!
We originally hoped to encourage 50 women to set their first FKTs in 2022. That seemed like a big goal, so when we actually ended up with 115 first time FKTers linked to this project, we were thrilled.
We believe the trails are for everyone. As we worked on this project, we wanted to do our best to be welcoming and encouraging to women of all stripes and colors. Tracking our diversity is a first step in understanding. As this project grows, we hope to go beyond tracking and find ways to improve our resources to be more inclusive and diverse.