Women in cycling
Unfortunately, there are no official figures, but I would estimate that the proportion of women in the bicycle industry is between 15 and 20%.
Many women in the bicycle industry, who have already been involved in the past decades, are often born into the respective companies and have then simply taken over the business. Women have not been directly supported in recent decades. The bicycle industry is quite a small industry and everyone knows each other. Many jobs are also handed out and you may switch from bicycle company A to bicycle company B. Unfortunately, the industry is not so open to external input. A lot of things work via “rope shafts” or a certain “old boys' club”. But women were always quite isolated.
In 2021, I co-founded the initiative “Women in Cycling”. I always thought that the women within the cycling scene would know each other, but many don't. We then set up a LinkedIn group, in which over 1,000 women from Germany, Europe and the world were suddenly registered. In addition, we have also opened an expert portal in which more than 500 women have already registered. Some of these experts are also willing to speak at conferences or similar events.
It's very difficult to show this visibility. Although women work in the industry, only the managing directors are usually present at the events and the large trade shows. There's also a big difference between male and female executives. In addition, the motivation to work in the bicycle industry is often different. Men often emphasize how much they like to ride a bike and how amazing it is on the MTB or road bike. For women, however, the motivation is often more in the social or practical area. And this is all the more important if you want to reach other target groups as a manufacturer. After all, what's easier than having the future target group in-house and being able to draw on this wealth of experience and knowledge?
It's simply important to take different perspectives, both entrepreneurial and personal. For example, one should not only think about the sporty cyclists, but also take into account older or younger people, or cultural differences.