Women do belong in the auto industry!
A short while ago, I read a very interesting piece on the golagence.ca website. Basically, it said that women have natural qualities to be successful in the auto industry. What exactly are they? How can we perform better than men in this supposedly "non-traditional" field for women?
According to the article, women show more empathy toward others than men, giving us a definite edge in relations with customers. We are better at understanding people and gaining their trust, whether they're shopping for a new car or visiting a repair shop for service and maintenance. Hey, maybe that's one more positive side of our overprotective, maternal nature!
Remember in high school when some of the girls were known for being their group's go-to confidant? Were you one of them? This super talent means we can listen to customers, identify their needs, and make them want to keep coming back over and over again. In the auto industry, as you know, customer satisfaction and retention are pretty much all that matters.
The ability to make connections is another tool that women can use to stand out from their male colleagues. Building strong relations with customers is of the utmost importance in the auto industry. Think about the last time your purchased a car: The sales rep (man or woman) likely had a knack for getting you to talk and open up, putting you at ease, and determining exactly what you looked for in your new ride -- otherwise you probably would have gone to a different dealership, right?
Despite all this, the auto industry remains a male-dominated world in which women don't get the representation they deserve. Sure, there are more and more female sales consultants, technicians, and even executives (both at the dealer and manufacturer levels), but we still have a ways to go before men and women play a fairly even role in the business.
Prejudices and stereotypes remain entrenched, as evidenced by the limited number of girls in auto-related training programs. Then again, we don't see that many guys applying for a career as a nurse or early childhood educator either! Having said that, I'm confident that there will be lots of women working at all levels of the auto industry in a not-so-distant future. Go girls!