It’s no secret that women have yet to largely take their place in the automotive industry, since this field continues to be heavily dominated by men. However, thanks to women like Christy Roman, founder of Women in Automotive, this industry will soon see an increase in opportunities.
Women in Automotive is a collection of industry leaders dedicated to helping women develop within the automotive sector. They have made it their mission to help those in the automotive community recruit, retain and develop female employees and leaders.
Roman said, “We want to empower women who work in the industry and show them what a great industry it is that we work in. The second purpose is to help dealers change culturally where they can have better hours, better work environments for women.”
As our culture shifts from a male-dominated one to one that equally values both genders in any role, women are slowly beginning to take steps within the automotive realm. Women are still heavily underrepresented in this industry despite the fact that 80% of purchases made in the car business are influenced by women and 50% of cars are bought by them. These statistics show us that women have a large impact on car purchases, yet female industry leaders are a small percentage.
“There are few female leaders in automotive simply because it’s a really tough industry. There’s six-, seven-day workweeks. You have to work sometimes 12-hour days. That’s why I talk about the culture and how can we help dealers allow people to have lives,” Roman said.
Roman and Women in Automotive have been helping with this cultural shift and giving advice to female students who may be considering a career in the automotive industry. They are starting a Summer 2019 internship program for college-aged students. “We tell women, students in particular that it’s a great industry,” Roman said. “It’s an industry that doesn’t require a great deal of knowledge to be able to get in and really have a significantly impactful career. Yes, you have to overcome obstacles in terms of some of the cultural issues with how male dominated it is. But, it’s a great industry for women. They can excel and do many things that they’re not able to do in other industries.”
It’s women like Christy Roman and the leaders in Women in Automotive who are making waves in this industry and will continue to do so for years to come. They are committed to making this a female-friendly industry that takes into account the large role women play in the buying process and the valuable perspective they bring to any profession.