Diversity and Inclusion

It’s been over a year since this article was published about the diversity and inclusion evolution on Zwift, which mentions,

[fighting] for athlete equity in a sport that has recently witnessed increasing attacks against the trans community in particular

actively working to create a truly inclusive society

but then states,

pushing for equity between men and women in cycling

As a feature request, it’s crucial to that inclusivity and equity for non-binary, gender non-conforming, and intersex athletes to have representation on the platform. I hope that’s something that Zwift is actively working towards!

Shared with this persons permission - people hit a gate in the sign up process that prevents them from participating.


My IRL club had to push for RunSignUp to allow us to not have Gender be a mandatory bit of info when people join our club. RSU says they are making changes to allow for nonbinary options, but it’s been a while. Our club is able to just turn that part of the form off, because honestly we don’t care.

With Zwift there will be additional hurdles regarding racing of course. The sport as a whole (almost all sports) still has a lot to figure out in this area. But there could be quick temporary fixes for now. Allow for creation of nonbinary user accounts, and have them all race ‘open/mens’ until the sports world figures out all of these new changes. It wouldn’t be ideal, but it would be better than not having those kind of accounts at all. (perfection being the enemy of progress and all that)


I don’t think gender matters in terms of racing, there is no reason a non-binary person would be any better or worse than a cis-man or woman. biological sex matters more for this and so their should be female and male/both for racing.

Although - it really doesn’t impact me at all so whatever pleases the most people is probably the best option to go with!

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All I’m saying that there will be people who raise holy h*** when it comes to the racing, so that will need to be dealt with in some way. But that shouldn’t stop non-binary folks from having accounts that accurately represent who they are.

agreed but sex (male/female) and gender (man/woman/non-binary etc) are different and one impacts racing whereas the other doesn’t.


Open/men’s, women’s, non-binary races and leaderboards. IRL there’s a challenging cascade effect of adding separate gender specific races in terms of time and space, it’s understandably an effort in the virtual world in terms of making work for people to design and implement, but the time and space aren’t limited in the same way.
Yes, it will get complicated when people want to compete in the official league races, things that are beholden to USAC or UCI regulations, those are issues outside of what’s being asked for here.
People can’t even finish the account creation process because no one should have to make a concession about which gender they are.

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Besides, You are absolutely incorrect about racing. Multiple studies show that the “sex” assigned at birth has little to no impact on race performance. More likely to impact performance are access to equiptment, coaching and resources.

This ask is for access to the same equipment used by cisgender and trans athletes. Why shouldnt someone who identifies as neither able to access the software. It makes no sense. Zwift is used for more than just racing - its a training platform, a group ride space and a general use exercise zone. Why are we gatekeeping people from accessing a space where gender only matters for aesthetic purposes and frankly, shouldn’t matter at all.


Yep. A simple fix for 99.9994% of the users would be to change Gender to Sex on the user profile page.

I’m not arguing that non-binary people shouldn’t be able to choose that at all, they 100% should.

i’d need to see these studies but i’d be sceptical about the results but i’m not here for an argument so i’ll concede defeat here - as I said it doesn’t impact me in the slightest so whatever is agreeable to those affected is fine by me.

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The UCI said scientific studies had shown that it can take as long as two years for muscle strength and power to adapt to a “female level” while 2.5 nmol/L “corresponds to the maximum testosterone level found in 99.99% of the female population”.

In a statement, the UCI said: "The latest scientific publications clearly demonstrate that the return of markers of endurance capacity to ‘female level’ occurs within six to eight months under low blood testosterone, while the awaited adaptations in muscle mass and muscle strength/power take much longer [two years minimum according to a recent study].

“Given the important role played by muscle strength and power in cycling performance, the UCI has decided to increase the transition period on low testosterone from 12 to 24 months.”

The UCI said its rules could evolve based on further scientific research and added that it would like to start a research programme across several sports into the effects of hormone therapy.

“This adjustment of the UCI’s eligibility rules is based on the state of scientific knowledge published to date in this area and is intended to promote the integration of transgender athletes into competitive sport, while maintaining fairness, equal opportunities and the safety of competitions. The new rules will come into force on 1st July (2022). They may change in the future as scientific knowledge evolves,” added the UCI.

That’s a strong argument for doing away with all Categories in Zwift, other than w/kg. I’d support that if it meant that use of all 5 Categories (A through E) were then more granular, perhaps E could be 0 to 1.5 w/kg or thereabouts?

Maybe some of the female users of Zwift could chip in with their thoughts though?

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I don’t disagree with your analysis. On zwift, it most likely would only make a difference in elite competition which should be regulated separately anyways. At in person races, having different catagories makes sense but digitally, there should be no risk to your physical safety and the comradery thru teams/ race buddies.


Logistics about competition aren’t an immediate concern, all that’s being asked here is that everyone be able to participate on the platform as a baseline.


So I’m expecting this thread to get closed because it’s gone off the topic and into the related topic and maybe I should take some blame for that.

But I think my point is playing out here. Yes, gender and sex are quite different. The problem is that Zwift, and sports, conflate the two. In Zwift when you choose your gender, you are currently choosing your sex as well. That is exactly part of the problem they’ll need to solve. And the rest of this discussion is the other part of the problem–tons of people with tons of opinions and sex and performance and gender and etc. And because those discussions always happen, every time, and because sex and gender are conflated everywhere, no action will get taken. People in charge will decide that the ‘big problems’ are too hard to solve, and so they won’t solve the little ones.

In short–because on Zwift when you choose Gender you are also/actually choosing Sex, and because racing is divided up by Sex, if they were to institute a non-binary Gender, they would either have to A) divorce Gender from Sex on their platform, or B) figure out which Sex to have non-binary gendered people race with…becauae unless they do A, the ‘neither’ option for Gender will mean non-binary for Sex. Because the system doesn’t distinguish between sex and gender.

Anyway, I don’t expect this thread to last, and I definitely don’t want to get into a discussion of sex performance in sports. I’ve said my bit, I support a nonbinary gender option all the way. Peace out :slight_smile:


The “men’s” races function as the open category, I utilize them regularly. There aren’t any pearls to clutch about that, it’s already a thing.
I’ve read past posts about this topic and the laundry list of reasons why it would be challenging to apply all condenses into essentially saying that these already marginalized people don’t bring enough value to be worth the time and effort and expense.
It will be really unfortunate that they close this without doing anything, it’s a bad look.

You basically said what I said but in about 10,000 words

Because I started posting in this thread not wanting to have to say all that, because I didn’t want the thread to turn into what it has, but figured I should explain myself now that it has gotten so far off.

As a global fitness community with active support to the LHBTQ+ community, it would be nice to see you introduce a Transgender (or at the very least a Prefer Not to Say) gender option. With the rising global issues regarding the transgender community it would be nice to see some steps taken in the global athletic/sporting communities to give transgender athletes an opportunity for equality and help to remove the controversy surrounding transgender athletes competing against CIS gender athletes.

You could make both gender avatars available to these individuals, enabling them to select an avatar that reflects their identity.

They could have their own KOM and Sprint jerseys for segments so they are not competing with their CIS gender counterparts.

You could even considering going so far as to create a transgender only racing category (similar to the women only category) while still allowing them to participate in the open categories.

The more steps taken by global communities to acknowledge the existence of and provide equality to the transgender community the sooner the local communities will accept us.


They could be working on it behind the scenes. It that zwift has been very busy past two months with TdZ, Scotland map, worlds, ZRL finals, ToW, and peak zwift use months. Now that is mostly over they should have time to work on it. With you in this issue as part of the lgbtq+ community on zwift. Hopefully they have something soon then public race cat testing over the summer. Then the fall when zwift usage goes up it is up and running smoothly. Then all event/race organizers have it in their results processing systems. June could be an interesting month.

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