“Nothing is owed, nothing is acquired, everything is built”. This motto has guided Dominique Serra all her life and in her struggle for women. “I knew I wanted to do something for women,” said 60-year-old Kareen Guiock without really being able to explain. This “leading woman” is featured in M6’s new documentary series, “Pioneers,” which highlights these women who have succeeded in circles known to be masculine.
In 1990, Dominique Serra created the “Rallye des gazelles”, exclusively reserved for women. “I wanted to promote women in business and in their personal lives,” explains Dominique Serra, who at the time had no experience in the automotive industry, where it took 20 years for her rally to be recognized. “I learned everything at work, like gazelles. I was confronted with the machismo of the discipline and criticized women in motorsport”. In addition, the race is not played on speed, but on the navigation strategy which consists in connecting one point to another by taking the best route. “It took patience and courage, but I knew it would work,” the Frenchwoman reassures.
Today, the gazelle rally has become a must-see race where everyone (or almost) knows someone who has competed in it. “You can’t win every time, but you shouldn’t regret it,” says the one who managed to become an industry reference, even if it took twenty years, according to her estimates.
Morocco opens its borders to it for the 30th edition
This years of refusal of recognition did not stop Dominique Serra. On the contrary. “Every time it’s forbidden, I have to do it.” This state of mind helped her again in 2021 when she convinced Morocco to reopen its borders for its race and its drivers for a new edition. “I used the connections I had, developed a health protocol and put together a complete file as if I were in their shoes. I have also benefited from the support of very strong women in Morocco,” explains the rally director, who has a special relationship with this country she “loves very much”.
And it was not for nothing that this meeting had to take place this year. Dominique Serra has “changed the lives” of many women who have competed in the race, as they have often told him. “Women should be taken seriously. They all told me that this experience had changed their lives, the race director assures. It changes the image men have of them. They become important and gain self-confidence.” So has his goal been achieved? “There is still a lot of work to do. The car world is still very ‘macho’”, regrets Dominique Serra, who does not lose hope.
“Pionnières”, M6’s new documentary series, puts women in the spotlight
On the occasion of Women’s Rights Day next Monday, M6 has decided to put its new documentary series entitled “Pioneers” online on the 6play platform. It depicts the portrait of eight women “who were the first and the only ones to rise to the challenge of entering a profession “traditionally” reserved for men”.
Among the eight life paths you will find one of the first female MMA fighters, the first female presidential candidate, the first female head of a rap label, the first female principal of a computer coded school, the first woman to work in space, the first woman to was a licensed fighter pilot or even the first woman to manage 36 quai des Orfèvres.
One thing is certain, Dominique Serra will continue to fight. And this year the vest of the “gazelles” is tagged by an artist from Nice against violence against women. Another sign that the battle is not over.
The 31st edition will start on March 19 in Nice and the same day in Monaco for the electric category.