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Marion Luigi: ‘I think women have a bad perception of the profession’

I LOVE SKI | I LOVE SKI | FRANCE

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

I Love Ski Marion Luigi

We’ve spoken with Marion Luigi, who, at 43, is in charge of the Gréolières and Audibergue ski resorts in the Alpes-Maritimes since February 2016. Holding a Master's Degree in Research and New Territorial Marketing at Sciences Po Aix, in Provence (France), she followed an EPCI management course, and now is the director of the Mixed Union that manages the two resorts.

I Love Ski: Why are there still such few women at the head of the resorts?

Marion Luigi: I think it's a job that requires a lot of personal commitment and it’s not necessarily compatible with family life. Due to seasonality, amount and diversification of activities, this work requires an extreme presence.
It’s not easy for a woman to be at the head of a resort, since it’s necessary to commit completely: today ‘my resorts’ are my home, my family. I have a 9 year old daughter who lives with me my daily work. She loves the mountains. For my part, I grew up here, my family was in this environment, I lived the mountain and grew in the rhythm of the resorts and the seasons.


I Love Ski: The absence of women in technical studies is considered as an obstacle on the presence of women in the direction of the resorts. You did science studies. What do you think?

Marion Luigi: The work will evolve. Perhaps it was perceived as very technical and certainly women still have a bad perception of the profession. This work is mainly a business management work in relation to its territory, its actors and its elected representatives. When I see job offers in this sector, they are not necessarily directed to engineers: they are management jobs with a large volume of management, so you have to be very versatile. The management component is very important and women have their place.
The key to success is having a good knowledge of the field, the environment and the different trades that make up our profesión and being passionate about our daily life in order to be credible and recognized.


I Love Ski: What can we do to change this?

Marion Luigi: Through communication, drawing portraits like this, showing that it’s possible. All ski resorts are different depending on their ski area and their territories. In my case, we are medium altitude resorts and we’re suffering from the lack of snow, so we have a more territorial approach.
It’s important to know the territory, the actors and their problems.
In the two resorts, we have around 50 seasonal workers who work during the winter, and, many seasons, we have parity or even a majority of women that are ski lift drivers. The Operations Manager and our staff on the slopes are very attentive to women. For example, we are flexible in terms of replacements. In general, women organize themselves very well (almost better than men) in their work. It’s not at all necessary to force the situation to have women in these trades.
This female representation in our resorts can also be explained by the fact that access to employment is not so easy for women in the mountains, so they are waiting and more available.


I Love Ski: What extra values can a woman bring to a ski resort?

Marion Luigi: I think we’re better at listening and more benevolent. At the resort level, we have the obligation to diversify. We must leave the picture of the resort, of the company, I’m thinking more about the territory. I think women bring a new vision and tend to open up more easily...
In the mountain sector, we sometimes oppose among professionals. As a woman, professional divisions are ignored: our ‘mother of the family’ approach makes us put aside our ego to guarantee the welfare of everyone and ensure that everyone can nourish and benefit from our resources.

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