Our series continues with two more perspectives from women in the cycle industry…
Today, we hear from Vicky Regan, co-founder and owner, invisiFRAME.
How did you become involved in the cycling industry?
My husband Lee set up invisiFRAME after he wanted to protect his own bike and got asked by friends to protect theirs as well. Initially, I worked alongside Lee whilst also working at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital as a nurse. As the company grew and we became busier and busier, I left nursing and now work full time running the operational side of the business
What is your proudest moment to date?
So many to mention, I think being nominated for a Shropshire Business award has to be up there as we were up against some huge businesses as well as some fantastic niche businesses. Industry specifically, every time we get a product review in magazines or positive feedback from customers always makes me immensely proud of what we do here at invisiFRAME and spurs us on to keep doing what we are doing.
What are your experiences of being a woman in the cycling industry?
Yes, it is a male-dominated industry but I wouldn’t say it is any disadvantage being a woman in this sector. I know our product and I know our customers. That aligned to having a great team around me (here at invisiFRAME 50% of our workforce are female!) ensures we continue to deliver and as such people don’t care if you’re male or female in my experience.
Do you feel that the gender gap is closing?
Yes, there are definitely more women in higher profile positions and with the help of various initiatives by bike brands to encourage more female riders, this seems to have led to more women working in the industry. Don’t get me wrong there can always be more women working in cycling, but as I said earlier I don’t feel at any disadvantage being female in the bike industry.
What more could we be doing to encourage women to be a part of the industry?
Just keep showcasing women who have made a success, whether that be brand side, with the likes of Rachel Walker up at Hope, rider wise with the likes of Tahnee, Rach and Annie Last having global success right down to all the successful women working in bike shops. We just have to keep banging the drum and encouraging more women to come through and join us.
To what extent do you think this differs from other industries, and also perhaps from other sports?
We are coming out of the era of male and female-dominated sectors and it is all up for grabs. A great example of this would be my mother’s era of nursing which was dominated by female nurses compared to my ten years of nursing where I worked alongside many great male nurses. In general, the profile of female sports has improved no-end, recently broadcast on prime time TV the Women’s Football World cup and the World Road Cycling champs as well as the increased coverage for rugby, cricket and many more traditionally male-dominated sports. Hopefully, with the increase in women’s sports, it will have a positive impact on females joining the competitive world of cycling.
If you could give one piece of advice to women entering the industry, what would it be?
There is nothing to worry about, the guys in the industry from distributors to mechanics and everyone in-between are great fun and I have always felt completely equal. Be yourself and enjoy working in a very cool industry.