There is a myth that the auto industry is a man’s world, and it is time to dispel it. At NADA, we have the privilege of working with dealer principals and dealership employees across the country. We see them at the NADA Academy, Dealer 20 Groups, the annual NADA Show, and even at their own stores. Here’s the truth: auto retail used to be a boys’ club, but women are changing that.
Women currently make up 20 percent of employees at franchise dealerships, a number that no one – not dealer principals, not NADA, and definitely not women! – is satisfied with. NADA’s goal through the Women Driving Auto Retail (WDAR) initiative is to help that number continue to grow in all departments, including in leadership.
The best way to show women the career opportunities in auto retail is through the voices of successful women in the industry. Follow along this Women’s History Month as we showcase some of the auto industry’s women leaders and read their stories. No career path looks the same, and technicians, service advisors, finance associates, salespeople, and managers all took different routes to their current positions. But they have in common the fast-paced, team-based, community-centered work of local franchise dealerships.
However, this is not just a “women’s issue.” Men have a role to play, too, as mentors, advocates, recruiters, and educators. As the majority of dealer principals, men are crucial to success. Steps as simple as blinding resumes during hiring or ensuring there is a women’s locker room for technicians can help recruit and retain female talent.
NADA is energized by the industry’s momentum and engagement in hiring and promoting women in auto retail. The 2023 Women Driving Auto Retail event had the highest number of attendees of any of the initiative’s event to date with 500 dealership leaders, team members, and exhibitors in attendance at the sold-out event.
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