You’re a Woman – That’s Not What I Was Expecting!

by Karen Neill

Zenith Motorcycles

“So, you’re a woman? That’s not what I was expecting.” Normally most people during their work week would consider a comment like this sexist or derogatory, but in the last 15 or so years I have taken this sentence and embraced it.

If you take a minute to think about it, it is pretty unusual to have a woman running your local motorcycle workshop. In an ideal world perhaps it wouldn’t or shouldn’t be unusual but this is not an ideal world, it’s the real world.

The thing I love about being a woman in this industry is the respect I have gained from my peers but mostly from my customers, 95 percent of whom are male. My customers know that my knowledge of my industry and of the motorcycles I work on has had to be that tiny bit better than my co-workers. I struggled for many years to be taken seriously, often only given admin positions in motorcycle-related businesses when all I wanted to do was be allowed to pick up a spanner and make motorcycles work.

However, in all honesty, I know that I do not know everything and, every day is a new learning experience both mechanically and in business. Also, I owe much of my knowledge to my co-worker and friend Garry, who has built Zenith Motorcycles from the ground up with me.

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Member of Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI)
Member of Retail Motor Industry Federation (RMI)
Member of National Motorcycle Dealers Association (NMDA)
Haringey Council Contractor