I’d love to see more companies supporting women adventure riders as well as vote with my dollars and only buy from companies, dealerships, riding schools, etc. that I know are women-friendly, women-owned or that support and encourage women riders.
What are the ways we can all contribute to this?
While treating women with respect should be a no-brainer, in too many cases it’s the exception and thus becomes cheer worthy. Supporting and encouraging women riders and women-friendly businesses is a smart strategy for insuring our voices are heard and our concerns are seen as valid.
The simplest option is to post reviews on social media that name and describe places that stand out as listening to, and treating, their women customers and staff as full equals. Commenting on list serves, public review sites, and even writing notes to the companies themselves are ways to reinforce the behavior we expect and want. Tell your friends and fellow riders about products, dealerships, schools, and companies that you have had positive experiences with. Post links to their websites to make them easy to find. Encourage various rider groups to compile and publish lists of companies that are women positive.
Contacting companies regarding sponsorships, bringing your unique angle to their attention, and suggesting how you can be of benefit to them through your connections, social media, and presence in the motorcycling community may open the door to them choosing to support you. Focusing on how you can build their name recognition rather than on what you hope to get from them is key. It may mean building a relationship over time, and being persistent if you believe you are the best person to represent their products, especially to the growing number of women riders.
When you do encounter problems, posting honest, fact based comments and reviews on your personal experiences with any company, along with concrete suggestions for improvement may be the best way to be heard. Speak to managers and owners about any issues you have had with employees before sharing anything publically. It’s easy to bad-mouth someone, or some company, on social media, but it’s not often the best way to be taken seriously by those who most need to do the listening. And if they aren’t open to feedback, walk away and put your energy into promoting those that are.