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It’s International Women’s Day (#IWD2020) on 8th March 2020 and we have taken this opportunity to talk to our Mutual Manager Sophia Reed about her experiences within the activities sector.
How long have you been working within the activities sector and how did you get involved?
I have been working directly within this sector since January 2018 when I joined AIM as Mutual Manager, but prior to that as a lawyer, I defended members’ claims since 2008.
What has been your experience of working with the other fellow Directors on the Board.
I have been the Mutual Manager of AIM since January 2018. I thoroughly enjoy working with the AIM team at Regis as well as with the AIM Board Directors. Sadly our one female Director has now retired from her post, however we have many female members of the Mutual who we consult over matters from time to time and do our best to include them wherever possible. I have been openly welcomed since joining by all the Directors and feel very much at home.
What changes have you witnessed within the industry in that time?
As a lawyer I saw an increasing trend by judges to understand and appreciate the benefits of adventurous activities and a willingness to treat spurious claims as spurious! This is such a fast moving industry with new activities starting all the time. Indoor climbing is now a hugely popular sport attracting 1 million participants in 2018; GPs are prescribing activities as alternatives to traditional pills; some school curricula require a percentage of time to be spent outside the classroom – all of which are beneficial to the industry as well as to our members.
How do you think women are viewed when delivering physically challenging activities?
We have a core AIM team at Regis which is a well balanced mix of male and female! and I do my best to try my hand at many of the activities our members offer so that I can be fully updated on what they are delivering daily.
Personally, what activities do you enjoy the most?
I love running, hill walking and skiing. I can sail but am a better crew than helm, and recently had a go at indoor climbing and have definitely “got the bug”!
The theme for this year’s International Women’s Day is (An Equal World is an enabled world) How do you think the activities sector is performing overall?
I recognise a good mix of ages and fairly equal split between male and female in terms of instructors and staff, as well as participants, in visits to AIM members so unlike the higher echelons of the legal profession (!), I consider that there is a good balance within the activities sector.
AIM was established in 2005 in response to growing demand within the sector for a cost-effective alternative to traditional insurance cover.