Travis Perkins – your sexist driver can *beep* off.

I love running. It’s empowering and is a great way to meet friendly supportive people. But there’s another side to running and frankly I’m really beeped off about it.

Open letter to the CEO of  Travis Perkins Plc.

Dear Mr. Carter,

I hope I have reached you on the right email address.

I understand you have recently been appointed the Chief Executive of Travis Perkins. As such, I thought it would be appropriate to write to you directly regarding an experience I had involving a Travis Perkins driver this week.

I was out running early on Wednesday afternoon in Kent – on a stretch of pavement along the A264. A driver in a large Travis Perkins vehicle was staring at me as I was running and beeped his horn at me.

This, I’m sure you will agree, is an example of sexist street harassment, and also of unsafe driving. And it makes your company look bad.

Unfortunately for many female runners and pedestrians this type of experience is not at all uncommon. However fleeting or minor this experience may have been, it does not make it unimportant, and I wanted to let you know personally that it is incidents like these that put me off running alone and make me feel unsafe in my town, even in broad daylight.

This incident is unlikely to be isolated and might be indicative of a wider problem within your large organisation. I would like to know whether your company has an appropriate policy in place to educate employees about what is and isn’t acceptable when communicating with members of the public. I would also like to know whether your company provides appropriate training on what constitutes sexual harassment.

I’m confident that as Chief Executive you would wish your  employees to be viewed as socially responsible, safe and professional, not, as  felt on Wednesday, as embarrassments who conform to the outdated, ‘sexist van man’ stereotype.

I look forward to receiving your response.

Yours sincerely,

Lizzy Woodfield

This year I am running to raise money for Pancreatic Cancer UK . Pancreatic cancer has the lowest survival rate of any cancer. It’s time this changed. To donate you can visit my JustGiving page: Thank you! 

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