Bad Behavior Toward Women is NOT the Norm
Updated: Apr 14, 2020
By Marilou C. Vroman, CPA, CFE
On March 2nd, I read commentary in Automotive News titled “This is why few women stay in dealership jobs” by Jackie Charniga. The spirit of the article spoke to retention of female employees in the dealership environment and the treatment of women in the automotive profession. The article raised my heart rate for two reasons. First, I have experienced inappropriate treatment in a dealership and therefore I understood the perspective of the writer, however, my heart rate escalated more so because in my 30 years in automotive retail, I have witnessed firsthand more advancement and success in women’s initiatives in the retail automotive industry in the last ten years than ever before. Are the misguided actions of some enough to discredit or second guess our industry?
It’s time to focus on the good.
Women in every role, from parts managers with impeccable inventories, to closers with the highest F&I PVRs, to service managers with the highest productions and CSI, to CEOs of publicly and privately held dealership groups, there are constant reminders this industry presents an incredible opportunity for women who aspire to be part of it, and the dealers who make it so. Women are proven performers in this industry; and this comes largely from the dealers, both men and women, who have created opportunity for growth, fostered team respect and a enforce a culture of professionalism in their dealerships. The commitment I have seen from some of the best dealer groups in promoting and recognizing women as powerful leaders and has been nothing short of inspiring.
My letter to the editor of Automotive News published on 3/9/20 was my opportunity to voice a differing perspective to the negative press that continues to circulate. After writing my response to the editor my heart rate returned to normal, knowing another side of the story could be told. In the end, I will continue to be an advocate for all professionals in the industry and I will not allow the inappropriate actions of a few to discredit and overshadow the incredibly good of the many.