Automotive News is tackling something that should’ve been addressed decades ago: rampant sexism in the automotive industry. You don’t even need to be part of that industry to know it’s a problem — everybody has probably heard a story of a female car shopper being ignored, belittled or generally poorly treated at a car dealership.
Yet, the issues are so much deeper than that, extending to just about every corner of the industry. Pay inequality, being passed over for advancement, not being hired at all, sexual harassment … it’s a familiar story in the business world, but judging by the data collected by Automotive News and its Project XX series, the car industry has a more serious problem than others.
The entire series is worth a read, but ‘Macho’ sales culture hurts dealerships addresses the area where most people outside the industry will be affected: the car dealership. Not only are female employees being treated unfairly, but that treatment and their exclusion is bad for business. Only 11 percent of sales consultants are women on average, despite dealers indicating female sales reps are often top producers. Also, on the customer side of the equation, women influence more than 80 percent of car-purchasing decisions. And of that 11 percent, staff turnover among women is a staggering 96 percent (versus 71 percent for men) due in no small part to the usual-suspect list of sexism, exclusion and harassment. When you consider that it costs a dealer $ 20,000 on average each time a sales position turns over, you can get an idea of just how much money is being flushed down the toilet.
Again, we encourage you to give the series a read.