By Scotty Reiss, FOUNDER FOR A GIRLS GUIDE TO CARS
Women sell a heck of a lot of cars. Often, they quickly rise to the No. 1 sales spot in a dealership. And, they tend to be quite successful in any automotive job they pursue. But getting women to take the job can be difficult; sometimes it seems impossible.
The stats tell the story: Women buy or influence the purchase of 85% of all cars and light trucks. Women are 52% of licensed drivers, 56% of college students and 47% of the workforce. Yet they hold less than 27% of jobs in automotive. In auto retail it’s about 20% of the jobs and most of those jobs are administrative. But it gets worse: Women have a turnover rate of about 90% in retail and most don’t stay in a job for more than a year.
Why? And, how can automotive companies, retailers and vendors increase the hiring and retention of female employees and benefit from the built-in advantages that come with hiring women?
The answer? It’s easy!
It starts with culture: a workplace that has a culture — an organization’s values expressed through its character, policies and actions — that creates employee happiness and therefore happy customers and a successful business, is one that attracts the best and most successful employees, both women and men.
Going back to the statistics of women as car buyers, it’s clear to see that a business with a culture designed to serve the female customer will also appeal to the female employee. The inverse is true as well: A business that appeals to female employees will also attract female customers. Studies are also starting to show that millennial men are swayed by culture; like women, they increasingly value the quality of work life over the success-at-any-cost philosophy, which is beginning to phase out.
Committing to Success is the Hard Part
So you can see, the answer is easy. But potentially upending an existing culture and the people who built it is more difficult. And for many organizations, the reality of revenue, costs and keeping a business on track can make change even more difficult.
How do you build and implement a success strategy when obstacles like revenue goals and entrenched top performers are blocking the way?
Seek Out Pros and Coaches to Set Your Course
This is what inspired Women in Automotive to launch six years ago. Missioned with elevating the entire industry by elevating the role of women in it, the core group is led by Christy Roman, Joni Stuker, Kathy Gilbert and Jody DeVere. They each experienced deep frustration in the industry and saw untapped opportunity to build stronger, more sustainable businesses.
It started with helping women to stay put in their jobs. By fostering more resilience in women (and men!) and by helping companies to uncover best practices and strategies that they can easily implement, the organization has assisted thousands of women and hundreds of companies to tackle the issues that are holding back their success.
Through conferences, webinars and community engagement, Women in Automotive is on to something. Its events have attracted top trainers, consultants and experts in sales, culture and success. And, top brands from Tesla to Hyundai, Subaru, Porsche, Cox Automotive, Cars.com, Facebook, Google and more have taken a major role to be part of this success, both as supporters and as participants in sharing insights and best practices.
So really, this secret to success isn’t really a secret at all. It’s right there waiting for you to get started.
Women in Automotive will hold its fifth annual conference June 23-26, 2019, at Disney World. Click here for more information. Scotty Reiss.