The number of women in our industry continues to grow — more and more of us are entering the sport as riders, dealership owners and employees, and as influencers at OEMs and aftermarket companies.
While I’m thrilled to see those numbers growing, the fact remains that being a woman in our industry still comes with its set of challenges — whether on the showroom floor or in the boardroom, nothing is more frustrating as a woman in our industry than to not be seen as an equal to male peers. Calling me “sweetheart” or “honey” is pretty much the fastest way to ensure I’ll never do business with you. Over the years, I’ve learned to diplomatically deal with uncomfortable and suggestive conversations — I laugh along, throw out a sarcastic comeback, roll my eyes and sigh that this is still the state of our male-dominated industry.
I am by no means saying that this boyish behavior is the rule — I’ve encounted countless gentlemen in our industry and am proud to call so many of you my friends. But it only takes a few bad apples to perpetuate this kind of stereotype and drive smart, ambitous women towards other recreational pursuits and other career paths.
As one in six powersports shoppers is a woman, you’d better do your best to always treat women with the same respect and courtesy as you do your male customers. I challenge you to examine your dealership team to ensure that you’re encouraging and inviting not only women riders, but the growing number of women who are making their careers in our marketplace. If you’re looking to call someone “sweetheart,” try Match.com.