Women make up to 52 percent of all new vehicle purchases and influence 80 percent of purchases so why aren’t more women in retail automotive? This Women’s History Month we continue to highlight the women of automotive to gain some insight into this question.
We’re joined now by Amy Phillis, Dealer Principal of Griffin Motors out of Pennsylvania. Amy joins us to share her story, advice for other women, and we’ll also learn a little about her market in Pennsylvania.
Griffin Motors is celebrating 100 years in business this year and Phillis is a fourth-generation dealer principal. Phillis grew up in the car business and, after completing her Master’s degree, returned to the dealership and began working in the service department. Two years later, in 2004, she became the dealer principal.
When asked why there are not more women like herself working in automotive retail, Phillis says a lot of it has to do with perception. When she returned to the dealership in the early 2000s, Phillis says she was intimidated and fearful of high-level business meetings with dealers and OEMs because she was often the only woman in the room. As time passed, Phillis realized that her male counterparts treated her no differently than anyone else.
From her perspective, Phillis thinks that women need to be more visible in the auto industry. When women see other women in successful leadership roles, they realize that it’s possible to be successful in this industry. Auto retail is no longer an old-school boys club. In fact, Phillis mentors local high schoolers and demonstrates how women can be successful business owners.
Work-life balance is also a major consideration for not only women but younger generations too. Phillis says that a better work-life balance can really help break down barriers for parents who need the flexibility to raise their children. At her dealership, Phillis’ employees have the flexibility to schedule appointments and attend their kids’ extracurricular activities.
Did you enjoy this episode of Diversity in Automotive with Amy Phillis? Please share your thoughts, comments, or questions regarding this topic by submitting a letter to the editor here, or connect with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.