Skip to main content

Women In The Bike Industry Summit 2024 - The Round UP

Forty women from in and around the cycling industry gathered in Scotland for the first Women in the Bike Industry Summit. Offering a focussed, welcoming space to foster connection and community, positive action, and provide delegates with an enjoyable, supportive experience. Read on to find out more about the event.


The two-day event took place at Glentress in the Tweed Valley where delegates heard from and connected with a range of speakers from diverse aspects of the cycling world, from local development and enterprise agencies to elite athletes, and from race mechanics to academics involved in research, wellbeing, and sport performance enhancement.

The list of speakers included; Paula Ward, Economic Infrastructure Specialist from South of Scotland Enterprise (SOSE); Ed Shoote, lead on the Mountain Bike Innovation Centre (SOSE); Dr Lesley Ingram-Sills, program leader for MSc Sport Performance at Edinburgh Napier University; Julia MacLean, race suspension technician for Fox; Aneela McKenna, Mòr Diversity; Emily Greaves, Trail Therapy practitioner, Comrie Croft; Emma Guy, WBD Sports and Bex Baraona, elite athlete and Gowaan Girls co founder.

Paula Ward, was able to talk about the South of Scotland 10 Year Strategy and Priority Action Plan that has the vision to embed cycling into the daily fabric of everyday life for residents and visitors, with huge investment into the area. By 2032, this investment will mean an additional 250kms of on road and 50kms of off road cycling routes.

Ed Shoote, provided an update on the development of the much anticipated Mountain Bike Innovation Centre in Innerleithen. Ed was able to present some of the plans for the building while highlighting the opportunities that this unique project will bring to the area. He also shared details of the MTB Trail Lab that Edinburgh Napier University are working on. Which will provide on trail data for testing bikes, components and athletes and many other smart things that 5G capabilities will bring, which was pretty cool. He also touched on the plans for the new Bike Park in the valley.

Dr Lesley Ingram-Sills, gave an interesting insight into her incredibly varied work. From working with elite athletes to her research work around MTB Trail Therapy, EBike Usage and how a visit to Glentress led her to start mountain biking and end up racing XC at elite level!

Julia McLean, was a hesitant speaker, not used to being asked to talk about herself and her job. However, in such a welcoming environment, she shone as she explained her pretty cool job on the World Cup circuit to the delegates. Not many women find themselves in her position and we hope that seeing cool women like Jules in positions like this will encourage others to seek out those roles too.

Aneela McKenna, provided a powerful and emotive presentation, with a host of stories and inspiring words, moving the delegates to ensure that we knew that we all need to create a space where we belong and want to belong.

Bex Barona, shared stories of how she got into biking and how eventually her love of racing brought her two Enduro World Cup wins. She spoke of her new ventures and her hopes for her future and the future of women in elite racing.

Emma Guy, shared stories of her early days racing at DH World Cup level and got us all reminiscing about the days of The Hub at Glentress. She talked about going full circle with then being the Event Delivery Manager for the UCI 2023 Cycling World Championship events at Glentress and now the Event Manger for the UCI Mountain Bike World Series.

Emily Greaves, Comrie Croft and our first qualified Trail Therapy practitioner was kind enough to lead our Saturday morning Rise and Grind and deliver two Trail Therapy taster ride outs, which were pretty special and gave food for thought for all who took part.

Colena Cotter, Communications Manager DMBinS

We were delighted to work in partnership with Aoife and Vedangi to bring this first event of its kind to Scotland. We wanted to create an innovative and collaborative environment, highlighting the Scottish Borders as a world class, exciting destination for businesses and women working within the industry and share the facilities and opportunities that will be available as a result of the Mountain Bike Innovation Centre development in Innerleithen.

We want to help as many women as we can explore the opportunities for them within the cycling industry and by hosting events like this, delivered by women, with strong female speakers and role models, we hope that the opportunities can become clearer and more achievable.


Over the course of the summit, delegates also had the opportunity to network, attend practical sessions in trail maintenance, podcasting and interview skills, and sample Trail Therapy, the mountain biking and mental health programme pioneered by DMBinS. A focussed personal development session, supported by Rab, provided space for introspection and individual goal setting. Sessions also focussed on practical problem solving, where issues of concern to the delegates were discussed, and actionable solutions proposed.


Attending the summit was truly a privilege and I am immensely grateful for the opportunity. It was not only enriching but very inspiring. The discussions, workshops and networking opportunities provided valuable insights and perspectives.



I left the event feeling motivated to contribute further to the growth and advancement of women in the bike industry. The impact of the summit will undoubtedly extend far beyond the event itself, and I am excited to see the positive changes it will inspire in the industry.

A key aim of the event was to highlight the huge range of roles that exist in and around cycling, and offer the opportunity to form and strengthen connections, so that delegates could expand their networks and strengthen this community.

Aoife Glass - International Working Group (IWG) for Women and Sport, and Spindrift Podcast

Connections and networks are so important for personal and professional development, and for making things happen,” commented Aoife Glass, one of the organisers. “If you’re looking to, for example, run a women’s group or apply for funding for a programme, the chances are someone out there has already had experience in doing that. If you can connect with them, you can tap into their knowledge. Most problems aren’t new, which means the solutions are already out there.

A recent report from UK Sport also highlighted the importance of networking for career development, and the systemic barriers women often face in developing their network. Events like this offer the opportunity to do this, outside of traditional events such as rides, races, product launches and trade shows. Mentoring is another approach, and UPLIFT, created by Rachael Burnside of Shift Active Media, matches cohorts of women with an experienced industry mentor to develop the next generation of leadership talent.



It was amazing to be in a space with lots of women carving out their careers in sport and cycling. It is vital that we recognise the value we have and the roles that exist, both recreational-focussed, freelance and professional. We shouldn’t need to be apologetic for being ambitious in the line of work just because we also love the sport.

Our event branding was developed by a young Graphic Designer and Illustrator (and shredder!) Molly Allice Paterson. We are grateful to our graphic designer Paul Mullen from Bough Studio for introducing us to Molly and giving her the opportunity to design this pretty awesome branding.

One delegate we believe, will be using the branding as the basis for their next tattoo!

Look out for more on Molly - coming soon!

Everyone loved our event specific merchandise!

Want to bag yourself some cool stuff and donate to the Scottish MTB Health Fund?
Buy stuff now!

The event was organised by Aoife Glass from the International Working Group (IWG) for Women and Sport, and Spindrift Podcast, Vedangi Kulkarni, adventurer, endurance athlete and writer and Colena Cotter and Emily Stratton of DMBinS.

It wouldn't have been possible without the kind support from South of Scotland Enterprise, the UK Government through the Shared Prosperity Fund, Rab, Komoot and Endura

This event was part-funded by the UK government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.

The UK Shared Prosperity Fund is a central pillar of the UK government’s Levelling Up agenda and provides £2.6 billion of funding for local investment by March 2025. The Fund aims to improve pride in place and increase life chances across the UK investing in communities and place, supporting local business, and people and skills. For more information, visit

Uk gov logo
Scottish Borders Council Logo


Become a Supporter

You may also like


Become a Supporter