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From: Jared Hamilton
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Lindsey Auguste

Lindsey Auguste Business Intelligence Specialist

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Women Professionals in the Auto Industry


The automotive industry is a male dominated place, so being the only woman on this incredible DrivingSales team is par for the course.  Having said that, it was an incredible experience attending the Women Dealers’ Breakfast put on by NADA yesterday morning.  Being surrounded by a group of successful, strong-willed, and phenomenal women looking to elevate those around them was truly inspirational.

As a part of the program, Dr. Nicole Lipkin encouraged us to re-evaluate the current landscape for women in the automotive industry.  Currently, women influence 80% of the decision-making for car purchases, yet only account for 7% of the workforce. If women influence over $80 billion worth of car spend, would making an effort to have more female employees on the front lines to interact with and bring a familiar perspective to the car buying experience increase your month’s end revenue?  Not to mention that a multitude of research shows that women are more loyal to their workplace under a variety of circumstances, potentially decreasing the likelihood of turnover. 

Then I got to thinking: why aren’t more females in the auto industry?  Is it because of the nights and weekend schedule?  The real estate industry keeps quite similar hours and that sector is flooded with female professionals.  Does it have to do with passion for the product?  It’s common for men to typically have a stronger interest in cars than women, but women create, sell, and engage with non-stereotypically female products and do so successfully all the time.  Perhaps it’s because it’s a sales profession?  I’d venture to say that almost all sales interactions are really customer service experiences, which women typically excel at creating. 

It’s not that men can’t successfully interact with female customers.  If made aware, men can listen, multitask, and nurture a customer relationship with the best of them.  But simply having a female presence, female perspective, and an inherent female hand-holding customer service experience can set you apart form your competitors and create the relationships that garner repeat customers.

I don’t think that dealerships intentionally overlook women for hire.  Perhaps the competent, ambitious women that might fit well in a dealership simply aren’t filling out applications.  So what can dealerships do to generate more female applicants for the job?

Jade Makana
Another amazing article, Lindsey. You are on a roll. Can't wait to form a "girl's club" with you in March:)
Brady Irvine
Great work Lindsey, I think you probably nailed it when you said that the competent, ambitious women who would be a good fit aren't filling out applications. I know if I were competent and ambitious I would've been drawn more towards selling Real Estate rather than dealing with the lingering negative association people tend to have towards car sales people...
Lindsey Auguste
Thanks, Jade, I appreciate the kind words! And yes, we will definitely get some good brainstorming going on when we see you in March!
Shannon Page
I think that it has a LOT to do with the schedule. Realtors are Independent Sales Agents who generally set their own schedules or, at the very least, aren't required to pull "bell to bell" days on holidays or weekends. I know many successful Realtors who manage their careers and familial responsibilities and exceed in both roles. I also know quite a few women who tried automotive sales on for size and ended up seeking employment that didn't place such scheduling demands on them - parents and non-parents. I think that the car business would benefit from some re-think on this topic.
Shannon Page
I think that it has a LOT to do with the schedule. Realtors are Independent Sales Agents who generally set their own schedules or, at the very least, aren't required to pull "bell to bell" days on holidays or weekends. I know many successful Realtors who manage their careers and familial responsibilities and exceed in both roles. I also know quite a few women who tried automotive sales on for size and ended up seeking employment that didn't place such scheduling demands on them - parents and non-parents. I think that the car business would benefit from some re-think on this topic.

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