With anywhere between 70-80% of the purchasing power in the United States, women have, until recently, been the untapped market in the automotive industry. In addition to this, women also make up a mere 25% of those employed in the industry. With this much power, women are likely to feel more comfortable purchasing from women -- empowering one another so to speak. One way to encourage this empowerment would be to create an inclusive culture within your dealership by promoting the idea that women are just as competent as men when it comes to car salesmanship or overall knowledge of cars. Implementing a mentorship within your dealership would be a great place to start.
A mentorship program pairs a veteran employee with a new hire. These programs are mutually beneficial. The veteran learns a new way of thinking, whereas the new hire is given feedback, assistance, and guidance when needed. There is this symbiotic relationship or exchange of information between the mentor and mentee that helps create a sense of friendship and belonging. It has been documented that mentored employees are 44% less likely to leave a company after a 5-year period. Also, women need to be given the opportunity to be heard within the dealership. They need to know that their work is just as important or impactful as their male counterparts. Allowing them to take action can prove to be beneficial as it gives them mentoring moments, opportunities to be heard.
Moreover, having women seeing other women in a position of power within the automotive industry is important. It reinforces the idea that they are capable of achieving and overcoming whatever challenges might arise. Mentorships can accomplish this as well as establishing a sense of empowerment within both women and their mentors. They are helping someone succeed within the industry while gaining a new perspective.