Our Women in the Powersports Industry series, highlighting the struggles and achievements of women in a male-dominated industry, was originally intended to be a year of monthly articles, that started on International Women’s Day on March 8. That was two years ago. Since then, the series has continued, on an occasional basis, because there are many more stories to tell, and much more inspiration to be found.
Brittany Morrow is not only inspiring but inspired: “I truly believe there’s always more to learn and experience, new places to explore, new skills to master and new connections to make,” she told us. And her roles as a mentor with the Can-Am Women of On-Road movement, as a professional motorcycling instructor since 2009, and as an event director and speaker, allow her to share that belief with others. Drawing on her considerable experience, and an array of creative skills, she has set herself the goal of both inspiring and empowering people to get more out of riding, whether they’re newcomers or have been riding for decades.
Her take on the industry is both considered and optimistic, as you can see. Overcoming her own struggles, including a near-fatal accident at age 20, she has achieved an enormous amount and looks set to go even further. Read on to learn more.
A change in attitude and perspective is under way
As in all traditionally male-dominated industries, trying to make your mark when you’re a woman in powersports isn’t easy. It sometimes feel like I have to work really hard to convince people I know what I’m talking about, listing my resume before someone will even start to listen. Other times, it seems like nothing I say is taken seriously or holds weight compared to my male counterparts.
However, I’m starting to see huge positive changes. More and more companies are starting to truly embrace the idea that women are equal players as consumers, and that we simply have different needs. They are making an effort to better understand women and, therefore, to listen to us and value our contributions. It is so exciting and encouraging to see it all happening right before my eyes.
Also, more and more women are seeking and landing positions throughout the industry. That tells me that we are collectively starting to believe that we belong here too! There have been gradual changes that are starting to add up to a big difference. There is less bias in how we’re treated. Women candidates are no longer judged on their looks, and models can be in the driver’s seat of a vehicle rather than draped across it. It’s still not perfect, but I notice it moving further in the direction of equality every day.
Equality means accepting others as they are
To get there, there needs to be a collective acceptance that all people are equal but different, and the contribution every individual can make is valuable, period. For so long, women in the industry have had to be “just one of the guys” to survive—myself included. But all genders need to stop expecting, and pressuring, others – and ourselves – to behave, dress, look, or “be” a certain way. “Feminine” isn’t one set of rules or qualities: I might be less risk averse than other women, or more interested in watching a race than they are; either way I am no less of a woman. I know that now. Women can be anything, go anywhere, do everything.
In the meantime, we have to expect a hard climb to the top, but the view from up there will make it all worth it! And we mustn’t forget to bring some other people with us. We need to strive to become better every day, while we keep fighting for what we want. We need to remember to ask for help when we need it, and admit when we don’t know the answer—and then go and find it! Above all, we need to keep in mind that, despite all our doubt and fear, we are valuable beyond measure.
Together, there’s nowhere women can’t go!
Women are so powerful, and the connections we build are unbreakable. I’m part of a group of women moto-content creators and women who work in the powersports industry, and we’re always sharing each other’s stories and successes on social media, writing about each other for our blogs, subscribing to each other’s channels, and generally lifting each other up.
I want to help create a cycle that is self-perpetuating and self-sustaining. Women both deserve, and owe to each other, to mentor and be mentored. My main goal as a mentor with Can-Am Women of On-Road is to nurture my fellow riders until they can become mentors themselves.
Connecting to each other is so important. I’m the national director of a multi-location event that brings together women (and men are allowed too) for a weekend of riding and creating friendships that last a lifetime. I love watching attendees, and the volunteers and staff, grow through these events and the connections they make, to become mentors and leaders. In the near future, I see more connection-based experiences happening all over the world. The year 2020 taught us all how important it is to live a life that both thrills us and bonds us to each other in a way that can’t be broken. When people feel valued, they are empowered to do amazing things, and I think the younger generations are ready to blow some minds with their innovation, enthusiasm, and passion for life. I’m so ready for it!
“Women both deserve, and owe to each other, to mentor and be mentored.”