The benefits of female leadership are clear, but according to the latest estimates from the NADA (National Automobile Dealers Association), a mere 18.6 percent of women at dealerships and most of these women work in support roles, accounting or administrative personnel. However, this problem can be corrected by implementing a strategic approach to female empowerment as well as working towards “gender-parity”. There are some truly innovative ways to attract, retain, and develop female talent in all positions including leadership roles at dealerships. Below are six strategies at the forefront of this movement.
1. Create a female-friendly culture
The first step in this process is to look inward. How women perceive our industry partly depends on treatment and respect for female job candidates or women customers, which leaves a lasting impression and translates into their willingness to do business with you. First, ensure that your company's culture really aligns with the mission. There is an equal contribution between men and women, thus you can easily assess whether she or he fits with this position and ensure that your employees are being paid fairly in comparison to one another. Secondly, create a workplace in which sexual harassment is handled. That said, women are attracted to an organization where everyone shows their respect and positive attitude toward them. This makes them feel safe and concentrate on work more.
2. Offer reverse mentorship:
Reverse mentorship, which is known as reciprocal mentoring is an outstanding example of how to expose female leaders to the most strategic work at the company as well as create visibility of potential female leaders to top executives. Pair top male leaders with female mentees who have been identified as future leaders, then each can learn from the other. Through open discussions, the mentees who have unique experiences can provide valuable insight and the more senior person will find a fresh outlook about one project.
Some companies think about a strategy of sending them to conferences like the Women in Automotive Conference which provides mentoring as well as the opportunity to learn and network with other successful women building a career in our industry.
3. Prioritize benefits and work-life balance:
When your HR department tries to prioritize diversity policy in the workplace, don’t forget to consider the benefits your company offers and how they can leverage these to empower women.
Take maternity leave as an example, whether your organization has a substantial maternity leave policy or not? Do your female staff who take maternity leave do feel pressure to return to work prematurely and fear that their role will be affected in the long-term? Work with managers and leadership ensure that your company’s hiring process does not discriminate against pregnant women but prioritizing paternity leave benefits.
Similarly, offer a healthy work-life balance for everyone in your company such as remote work options and flexible schedule. Rather than focusing on how much time is spent in front of computers, allow them to best manage their career and personal priorities as they see fit. That’s not only a tool for attracting star talent but also a contribution to staff retention and giving women autonomy over their own time.
In conclusion, Faro believes that there are more and more chances for women to climb the career ladder. Let us expand your huge opportunities by recruiting diversified talent pool.