Women play an important (and traditionally undervalued) role in dealerships. At least half of all car-buyers are women, many of whom prefer to deal with other women during the sales process. And female managers and sales reps consistently rank among the top performers at dealerships. Yet problems with hiring and even mistreating women persist in the industry. It’s time for dealerships to prioritize changing cultures to implement a more welcoming and empowering atmosphere for women.
Automotive News: When it comes to key dealership positions—such as general manager, sales manager, service adviser, etc.—women only account for about 8 percent of active employees. On the other hand, women represent 91 percent of active employees in office and administrative support positions. To overcome gender imbalance barriers, dealerships should focus on improving culture, including creating an open and welcome atmosphere and giving more visibility to women in key roles.
New York Times: Women buy about 50% of all cars. And that number is expected to increase in the future. And yet the number of women working in dealerships is vastly disproportionate—only about 7% of all dealership jobs are held by women. But research shows that 39% of women would rather work with other women when buying a car, compared with only 13% of women who prefer to deal with men during the car-buying process (the remaining have no preference).
9Clouds: About 95% of all U.S. dealerships are owned and operated by men. This disproportionate lack of women in key leadership roles contributes to a “boys’ club” culture at most dealerships, making many women feel unwelcome and sometimes out of place. By conducting exit interviews and asking women about their reasons for leaving, dealerships can gain insights into improving their cultures.
Excelle: Many dealerships have one female manager. But that’s usually where it stops. Despite the general lack of female managers and employees in the industry, female sales reps often rank among the top performers because they are detail oriented and willing to go the extra mile. And customer satisfaction scores are often higher when a female sales rep is involved in the purchase.
Dealer Marketing: It’s time for dealerships to perform a culture check and update their policies relating to women. That means setting aside the age-old assumptions about women’s involvement in the dealership. And it especially means putting a stop to any mistreatment or harassment of women that might be going on in the industry.