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Episode 10

📅 To mark International Women's Rights Day, we spoke to Rachel.

Rachel has been with Padd since 1997. In charge of running the network of affiliated shops, she tells us about her career, her view of the world of work, the relationship between men and women, and the women who inspire her.

25 years of loyalty to Padd. How did the story begin?

If we rewind a bit, I first encountered horses as a child when my family moved next to an equestrian center in Loiret. The passion for horses was within me, and I pursued equestrian sports with a focus on eventing, reaching an international junior level. After failing to pursue medicine, I became a professional rider for an owner. Then, one fine day in 1997, I helped Nathalie at the Padd store in Coignières, who needed someone for inventory for fifteen days. I knew her as a customer. And I discovered a passion for commerce. Then everything fell into place: the opening of the Viry-Châtillon store, returning to Coignières for the opening of the first Megastore, then headquarters in Chesnay, to oversee the network of affiliated stores.

What does your job entail?

We ensure the operational unity and image of the affiliated stores. So, I'm often traveling to follow up on existing stores, set up new ones, implement commercial promotions, manage inventory, and monitor sales... I have a portfolio of about twenty stores.

How has the role of women evolved since you started your professional career?

It's probably not very representative at Padd since, in everything related to equestrianism, women are the majority. So, we don't feel any discrimination; it's very easy to be a woman in this environment. And, it's primarily the management that sets the tone. If we respect everyone, if we're given the opportunity, only the desire matters. Moreover, this equality is also found in high-level sports: in equestrianism, there's no differentiated ranking between men and women. However, competition remains male-dominated, and very few women find their place there; our Pénélope is the exception that proves the rule.

Did you experience difficulties balancing work and family life?

First and foremost, I consider myself privileged: in the morning when I wake up, I don't drag my feet to go to work, and I haven't developed any particular frustrations regarding my professional rhythm. With my husband, sharing tasks happened smoothly with the intention that either of us spends a lot of time with our two children.

Are you sensitive to International Women's Day?

I'm not very sensitive to it. We have our day just like the burger or quinoa! Now, beyond our little European comfort, it probably makes more sense for women living in countries where they have no rights. I recall a country where awaiting the birth of a girl is considered catastrophic because it's not "profitable." Or another where women are denied the right to drive. So, just for that reason, this day must continue.

Women who inspired you?

I've always admired my mother, who raised me alone for ten years. For her, a woman's independence is non-negotiable. It's likely that Marie Curie shared this vision; she was a pioneer in a scientific field that was then reserved for men. Lastly, I'm quite impressed by the mindset of an extraordinary athlete, trail runner Courtney Dauwalter, who equals men in long-distance races. To me, she embodies "Positivity attracts positivity."

In a month, you're elected president of the republic. Your first measures for women?

Strengthening measures concerning the protection and support of women victims of domestic violence. Sometimes, it feels like the justice system doesn't protect them enough. And destigmatizing women on the subject should never be shameful. We must encourage them to file complaints while there's still time.

Your motto?

To cherish every second life offers me.

Padd in one word?


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