Sur la piste de Margot
Margot, you were predestined to evolve in the world of horse riding?
In any case, it was my dream. I've been riding since I was ten years old and with my horse Azur, we compete in show jumping at amateur level 1. At 18, I even created a collaborative stable in order to share the costs between riders. As far as studies are concerned, once I had my baccalaureate, I tried the jobs of groom and bellman but I finally decided to do a DUT in marketing techniques, which I extended with a degree in eco-management and a business school, Neoma Reims.
How did the connection with Ekkia go?
I first met Monique (editor's note: van Dooren-Westerdaal) for an internship at euro-star in Mönchengladbach. Then the years went by and, to earn pocket money, I worked as a waitress in the summer in a pizzeria in Strasbourg. One day, Monique pushed open the door of the restaurant and recognised me, we were very happy to meet again. I then had the idea of proposing to Neoma that I do my work-study at Ekkia. That was in 2018 and I'm still here!
What does your job as a marketing officer consist of?
At the beginning, I was a community manager and my role evolved due to departures within the team. I took over the photo shoots, which are now simpler and more authentic. We have a partner stable in Kleinfrankenheim that serves as a setting and we mobilise riders from our network when we need 'models'. This is also how my horse became the Ekkia mascot, he is on all our communications! Otherwise, I manage the brand more globally with Monique. We bridge the gap between purchasing creations and customer service.
Do you have any women who have inspired you in your career?
Without much surprise, I would say my mother and my grandmother, they are very strong personalities. They taught me to be independent, not to depend on anyone. They tend to tell me that no man should tell us what to do or not to do. In terms of public figures, the sailor Florence Arthaud, the first woman to win the Route du Rhum, who knew how to follow her passion to the end. She inspires me both athletically, mentally and as a woman. Finally, in another register, the actress Emma Watson. Very influential, she has touched many people of my generation, and for me she embodies the feminist woman. With great freedom of speech, she promotes gender equality, the education of young girls in the world, women's rights, and fights important battles. All the while remaining humble and elegant! I think it's important that people like her make things happen.
Could you see yourself as a company director?
Naturally, we certainly ask ourselves more questions than men. I have often discussed this with Monique, we are more prone to doubt. Probably due to the education we receive. A man encounters fewer obstacles on his way. But I think it's also a generational issue and things have started to change. When I see how Clara, who co-directs the equestrian equipment manufacturer Ohlala, has made her company take off, it's rather reassuring! If I were to create a company later on, it would certainly be a brand of eco-responsible clothing for riders.
What do you think of International Women's Rights Day?
I would say that it is often misused. If the reflex is to give flowers to the women around you, you haven't understood anything. This is about their rights and it is important to highlight, on 8 March, that they are not necessarily respected. Let's not forget Simone de Beauvoir's quote: "All it will take is a political, economic or religious crisis for women's rights to be called into question". In my opinion, the number one battle remains male/female equality.
You were elected President of the Republic, what is your first measure for women's rights?
First of all, and in relation to violence against women, that each woman be heard, and that by default what she says is not questioned. The greatest risk is not to be wrong. Secondly, I would emphasise equal pay and representation in management bodies. We should see people more than gender.
The most beautiful job is to live your passion
Ekkia in a word?