Skip to main content

Highlighting Women of Color at the Dealership: ‘Our Differences Are Our Strengths’

Published January 27, 2023


Sheryll Poe, Profile Picture, 175x175

Sheryll Poe


The quickest and best way for auto dealers to gain loyal customers and employees is to make a conscious effort to hire and retain women of color, according to Diana Kennedy, General Manager of Volvo Cars Marin.

“The biggest way to win is matching employees to demographics,” Kennedy said during a Friday, Jan. 27, session on the Live Stage, sponsored by NADA’s Women Driving Auto Retail (WDAR) initiative.

“Diversity, equity and inclusion are a major focus for automotive and a lot of other industries across the world right now. If you’re not focusing on DE&I, you’re going to be left behind.”

Of the 18,000 dealerships across the country, 1,100 are owned by women. Of those, only 70 are owned by women of color, said Kerri Wise, Chief Marketing Officer at Autofi, and President of the Women of Color Automotive Network. “If we can figure out how to attract women of color, everybody wins,” Wise said.

Kennedy and Wise joined NADA Executive Director of External Relations Myra Dandridge on the Live Stage for a wide-ranging discussion about how to bolster the number of women of color in the auto retail industry, and the importance of promoting and supporting women of color.

Watch the entire session in the video below and see more great sessions through the livestream from the Live Stage.

For more stories like this, bookmark as a favorite in the browser of your choice and subscribe to our newsletter here:



NADA Show 2024

The Auto Industry Event of the Year returns to Las Vegas, Feb 1-4. Attendee registration and housing is now open!

Register Now

Register Now