Female discrimination in recruitment in the motorcycle world

Chloé Hortig is:

  • determined: she will be a motorcycle mechanic,
  • passionate: the motorcycle has always been close to her heart,
  • persistent: the motorcycle has given her the strength to persevere for 3 years in her search for a company for an apprenticeship contract, persevering because :
  • Chloé is a woman.

As it may sound caricatural, theoretical, coldly written. Absolutely not: I decided to write this article, where it’s not about motorcycle innovation, endurance or road rallying, which are the key topics of Nova Moto, just by reading 2 posts late last night.
And I’m glad I didn’t write it spontanuously. But to remain nevertheless faithful to my feelings, here are my notes:

« Unbelievable! Reading this Facebook post – thanks for sharing David Dumain (Produm1, Sans Concession) and David Morcrette (Le Repaire des Motards) – wow, two men, everything isn’t lost – my heart is getting faster, I’m breathless, almost shocked. I am not a feminist, and I deeply respect the women who have fought so hard for rights that we all enjoy today, and I feel sorry to see these issues more topical than ever.

And there, reading Chloé’s testimonial, 3 years of efforts, of constant approaches – I am convinced of her obstinacy! – I tell myself that it is necessary to react.  Especially about the words « what am I going to tell my customers when they find out that it’s a chick who repaired their motorcycle », which author forgets that 30% of 2WDs are in the hands of …a woman. How inappropriate, not to say disloyal! Or would women just be accepted for pulling their credit cards? After being  » advised » by… STOP, I don’t even want to get into this debate.

Perseverance pays, I know, I have experienced it, I am convinced of it, on the other hand, fighting against a system can just be a source of exhaustion. Under 20, that’s just unacceptable!

It’s up to everyone to get more involved so that change can take place. I want to help you Chloé, a paper may be vain, useless, it’s already a start, if I believe the amount of comments on your post.

You’ve opened my eyes to something I don’t see – or ever needed to see?  Or didn’t want to see?
I feel uncomfortable, I confess, on a motorcycle, I just feel …biker. Reading you makes me feel very naïve now. »

So let’s let Chloé express herself:

And now what’s up?

Did Chloé get the « wrong numbers »? Could it be a geographical trend of the homo-motardus from the South West of France? For three years, you can have doubts about that. It would be a pity to generalize, because men did not deserve to be stigmatized in that way. I had the chance to make many beautiful encounters in decades of motorcycle riding, and since 2011 by creating Nova Moto, whose customers who have offered me their confidence on very technical products, are in a large proportion, men. There are a few women in the motorcycle business, in the event business, and more and more of them are competitive on motorcycle sports. Whatever the context, every person, man or woman, has to prove themselves, not just in motorcycle industry.
Simply here, it’s about opening a door and giving a young woman a chance, and yes, innovating, once again!

Nova Moto’s experience allows us to say that innovation is as exciting as it may be unwelcome, but this is another matter, with one common point: only a pioneering spirit is willing to trust and to start right away, without waiting for others to test it, or for it to become a standard product or practice.

A few handful of women have made their mark in motorcycle mechanics, within teams, such as Marine Charié with the Suzuki Junior Team in endurance. The « Garage Parties » evenings initiated by Harley Davidson, precisely to build image, create links and … respond to a demand for technical knowledge on the part of female motorcyclists, are multiplying. On the sales areas for rider’s equipment, accessories first, then motorcycles, women are more and more present. The workshop is the last barrier to be crossed, for customers also in some shops … the cavern of knowledge, which explains the difficulties met.

 

A little word for Chloé

Steps that are difficult to get through build us up, and what follows is usually all the more tasty. You were smart to have that approach. Of course, your message expresses irritation and misunderstanding; it remains constructive and respectful, and for that reason in itself you are listened to. The people who may have had those reactions didn’t deserve you anyway! It’s not just words, it’s that they weren’t ready and your experience would have been negatively affected by this. Everything is to be built at 19, contrary to what I thought at your age, a year is nothing in a lifetime. Stay the course, it’s a joy to know what you want, you’ll see, one day – I hope very soon – you’ll smile about it, and above all you’ll be proud of your achievement. Good luck, Chloé!

 

Update 18 06 2020: I’m very pleased with the conversations I’ve had with my motorcycle contacts since the publication of this article, besides only men for the moment… including the sincere sadness of Bruno Pasqualaggi, Sportmoteur.com, who knows this subject too well, as his daughter chose an unusual, technical path too, not explored by women: art craftsmanship.
And a special thought to those who get involved and contact Chloé : let’s go to your phones and keyboards, thanks for her!

 

Text: Isabelle Maillet
Facebook post and picture: Chloé Horgit, with her kind authorization.

Any opportunity for Chloé ? Thanks for getting in touch!
 

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