Jody DeVere’s breakout session addressed the importance and value of employing females in the collision repair industry.
Among the three breakout sessions offered on Tuesday afternoon during WIN's 2017 Educational Conference was "Why Is It So Important to Attract, Hire and Retain Women Employees?" presented by Jody DeVere, CEO of AskPatty.com.
DeVere began by observing that most women enter the collision repair industry by accident, but there is something special about the automotive industry, and it makes for a fun, challenging and interesting career.
Starting with some statistics on female consumers, DeVere noted that women buy more than half of new cars, influence up to 80% of all vehicle purchases, and request 73% of service repair work, spending over $200 billion on new vehicles and vehicle servicing annually. Despite their strong role in the market, women continue to report poor automotive retail experiences, largely because women process information and make purchasing decisions differently than men. On average, women speak 20,000 words daily compared to an average of 3000-4000 for men who are prone to thinking and speaking in bullet point format. While women communicate through storytelling, this approach causes men to stop paying attention.
Some of the barriers to the industry hiring and promoting women include an unconscious bias among managers, a lack of work/life balance, a lack of female role models, a lack of qualified incoming talent, and women's confidence and aspirations. DeVere cautioned, "If you don't understand female consumers, you won't understand your female employees."