Industry Champions: Dealership Women
During the month of November, CDK Global sought to highlight the experiences of women in the automotive industry. Women have always faced a unique challenge in what has often been deemed a “male-dominated” industry. From differences in buying habits to differences in the work environment, women have shared what it’s like to be an active part of advancing the industry towards being more inclusive, adaptive and overall more successful.
In the dealership, many women are forging ahead in what has long been a male- dominated workforce. They face specific challenges, but also take advantage of their specific gifts to fill the gaps that many men couldn’t. We sought out a few women who are truly driving the industry forward to hear about their unique experiences.
Amy Bannor is the Internet Manager at Corwin Automotive. Though she’s only been in the industry for about seven years, she’s made her presence known since then. At Corwin Automotive, she’s fulfilled many roles including new car sales, training and desking in dealerships across the country. In her current role, she’s worked alongside her team to build a strong strategy around Internet leads. As a part of that effort, she created “Just a Girl Selling Cars,” a Facebook group where anyone can go to talk about their experiences buying or selling cars. Essentially, she hopes the group can serve as a community where people can see that buying a car isn’t as horrible as we all make it out to be.
What’s it like being a woman in this industry?
This industry comes with crazy hours and demanding customers and isn’t necessarily built as an industry where women can thrive. Men often have assumed these responsibilities because they’re stereotypically fulfilling the role of the head of the household. As a result, this industry isn’t very adaptable to many women out there. However, women who can handle these demands unlock unlimited potential. Because we don’t fit the mold of the traditional salesman, we aren’t held back by those stereotypes. As a woman, we’re automatically memorable and can often connect with women, who are making the majority of purchasing decisions, much more naturally.
"Women who can handle these demands unlock unlimited potential."
How can women succeed?
I think the biggest way we can succeed is by learning to support each other instead of competing against each other. We’re so used to competing to be heard in this industry, but we forget that when we deal with other women, we should be supporting each other. Even if we don’t agree about something, we’re all just here, trying to sell cars and support our families.
We can’t forget about encouraging other women to join the industry. Most women aren’t aware of the potential this field offers. I bet if you asked 100 women on the street if they have thought about a career in the automotive industry, only a handful would say they had.
If you could tell people one thing, what would you tell them?
We have to continue to adapt. The dealerships that embrace change and constantly learn how to better connect with customers will be the ones to win out.
About the Author
Kelsey Kruzel is CDK Global’s Social Media Specialist. From writing posts to creating graphics, she maintains that nothing should be allowed to exist without a strategy. As the resident millennial in the marketing department, she enjoys having her coworkers explain references that are lost on her and telling people that yes, social media is a job.