I Love Ski: Why are there still such few women at the head of the resorts?
Anne Delignac: A resort is often associated with ski mechanical lifts, and whoever says ‘mechanical’ understands ‘technic’. I think that with this kind of communication, recruiters think that men can better respond to the profile of the director of a ski resort.
From my point of view, this is absolutely false. You have to know how to surround yourself with a good operations manager.
I have a degree in engineering from CESI (Center for Industrial Higher Education). I don’t think that technical training is essential in these jobs, but rather a good knowledge of the environment and the functioning of the rersorts.
I love ski: What can we do to change this?
Anne Delignac: I think it’s important to better integrate the relationship with the client. Since I started as director of the Val Louron resort, I have always put the client in the center, developing marketing, customer service and communication. Resort managers need a double skill: technical and commercial.
The main problem for the ski resorts is to increase the number of ski days and expand the businesses of the resorts. I think women are more focused on this aspect.
In Val Louron, we have a woman who carries out snow removal, and there is much less equipment breakdown! There are many jobs at the resort that are not a matter of having big arms.
In order to meet the needs of female staff, we have people who serve as substitutes in the ski lifts and come in replacement if the girls need to leave.
I Love ski: What extra value can a woman bring to a ski resort?
Anne Delignac: In general, and from an external point of view, women are more oriented towards the relationship with the client.
From an internal point of view, I believe that, as women, we are more attentive to the daily life of employees. I don’t want to generalize, but I think we are more oriented towards the other, be it the client or the employee.
Women have a great capacity for listening, great sympathy: ‘it is a little the role of mother that stands out’.
This may be due to my education and my professional deformation, but I believe that women demonstrate a high level in management. I demand myself a lot of rigor on a personal and team level.
The ski resort of Val Louron counted with 12 female workers (including 3 permament) and 43 male workers (5 permanent) during the 2018-2019 season.