Automotive aftermarket companies need to think about women in their marketing, especially if they want a more diverse workforce, female shop leaders recently urged.
In particular, look at your marketing materials, said Kim Auernheimer of CS Automotive when asked what she would ask of aftermarket leaders.
“Think about your marketing and how you’re marketing the industry and how you are reflecting and what reflection you’re making on women in general and being just being a diverse a diverse industry,” she said during the panel discussion Women Techs Rock: Filling the Workforce Gap and Readying for the Revolution at AAPEX 2021.
For example, calendars that objectify women. Auernheimer can recall in 2020 seeing a calendar like that. “And we were all taken aback — like, this is 2020 and what is this in a main aftermarket industry magazine?”
It’s part of an image change the industry needs, particularly if it wants to draw in more women as labour shortages plague many companies.
“Just the image of the industry, I think, is first and foremost [a concern], which will make it easier for us to talk to these young women and their parents about considering this industry,” Auernheimer added.
From left, Dana Rapoport of TechForce, Jacqui Hower of Zimmermans automotive, Jill Trotten, RepairPal and Kim Auernheimer of CS Automotive
For Jill Trotten, vice president of sales and industry at RepairPal, she would like companies to give serious thought to an application that comes from a woman. There aren’t enough opportunities given to women in the hiring process. Instead, companies hire people who look and sound the same.
“Our resume might not look like it’s spot on for the position,” she admitted. “But look at it and consider the holistic view of what you’re hiring and the diversity of thought that you’re bringing into your organization when you’re not hiring the same person over and over and over again.”
Messaging and actions matter, observed Dana Rapoport, chief of diversity and inclusion at TechForce, and moderator for the panel on the AAPEX Stage in Las Vegas.
“If we don’t show women in those positions, they can’t identify that as a possibility for themselves,” she said. “So remember that when you are out there creating your marketing or your messaging or whatever it is, that they need to be able to identify with what they see and hear. So what you say matters.”