In November 2018 I hosted a table at Pro Driver’s annual QSI awards, the prestigious event in every Chauffeur diary. Among my 9 guests was someone with hunger, passion and ambition for their career. That person was Chauffeur professional Mihaela Gogu, one of the few female chauffeurs in the UK industry.
Mihaela is one of my valued clients and I admire her tenacity in an industry where she is one of few women in what is a heavily male dominated industry. Perhaps it’s because there are similarities in what we are both doing that I resonate with what she is trying to do? I joined Tasker Insurance Brokers to build our Chauffeur specialism from scratch through my knowledge, passion and network of relationships. Speaking with Mihaela that’s exactly what she’s doing, the only difference is that she is even more niche as a female chauffeur.
In light of International Women’s Day I sat down with Mihaela and colleague Bibi Cizmarova to find out their thoughts on being women Chauffeurs in 2019.
Do you think it is a male dominated industry and if so why? If not, why not?
M: Yes it is a male dominated industry, because we allowed it.
B: It’s always been a male dominated business as stereotypically women should be there for kids, working regular hours or at home looking after the family while men are supposed to be the providers.
M: We made it more difficult than it actually is, but with the right attitude, self-control and power this can change.
What drew you to the industry?
M: My passion is for cars and driving. I like to think of myself as a people person, I like new challenges and every job for me is a new opportunity to meet different individuals from different industries and the network we build is huge.
B: I have done all kinds of driving jobs from delivery driver to driving instructor. I cannot imagine working in the office and being around the same people 9-5 listening to their problems. Being the driver feels like you are working for yourself without your boss looking over your shoulder. It gives you a level of independence that you don’t necessarily get elsewhere.
You are embarking on a venture to put together the first predominantly female led chauffeur service, can you tell me the thinking behind this and what your plans are?
M: We are indeed working to achieve this, but we are not excluding men, we only want to provide a special service that is growing and requested by our customers for different reasons such as religion or safety.
B: There is a big demand for female drivers as there are lots of female customers who would be more comfortable with a female driver or for religious reasons. We have huge potential to grow as there is a big gap in the market.
What do think is your USP (unique selling point) to clients about being a woman driver chauffeur service?
M: We have basically everything that a chauffeur company should have to provide a professional, innovating service which is professionalism, safety, security and passion for the job.
B: I must correct you there, we cannot be a female only chauffer company for discrimination reasons, but we will try to fulfill all demands for a limited number of female drivers and the remaining jobs will have to be fulfilled with men.
And USP? Females are more careful drivers, have better attention to detail, we are patient with families, with kids or elderly and less argumentative with clients at difficult situations. But this for men can sound a bit feminist!
As a chauffeur, do you have a typical client profile?
M: The client is the base of any chauffeuring company. Good, organised and professional clients are our target.
B: Not really, just someone who can appreciate our work as it is not only about driving from A to B but journey planning, client safety, making and cancelling appointments or dinners, picking up shopping or dry cleaning, getting coffee or quick lunch between meetings, etc.
If you weren’t working in the chauffeur industry and could have any job in the world what would it be?
M: I’d have probably been a physiotherapist, as is my specialty and what I finished study wise.
B: I would love to have a small coffee shop on the beach far away from traffic!