Women have long been part of the automotive industry, and in recent years, we’ve seen the participation of women in the industry on the rise. And yet, they still go largely unrecognised.
There’s no questioning the automotive industry is dominated by men. In fact, according to a survey Catalyst Quick Take: Women in the Automotive Industry conducted in 2016, women accounted for just one quarter of the automotive workforce in the USA and, at the executive level that number dropped to only 16 percent.
Fast forward a century and it’s easy to see how far women in the automotive space have come. Today, we’ve got women in the automotive role as CEOs, race car drivers, designers, engineers
Nakita Joshi talks about her rise in the male-dominated car business and how she wants to bring diversity into the business with more female staff.
In your own words, what do you do?
I am the General Manager and Managing Partner here at Nissan of Tustin. I manage day to day operations for sales and service. So when you buy a car or bring it in for regular maintenance, it’s my job to make sure that the dealership is taking great care of you and your car.
What do you see as the future for women in the industry?
The future is bright for women in the auto industry. Whether you’re on the retail sales, manufacturing or lending side of it. I have worked with a lot of strong women in my career and I have seen more women join our industry over the years. I see a lot more women not only joining but also dominating this industry and balancing the scales of gender in the work force.
There’s roughly a four-to-one ratio, men-to-women in employment in the automotive industry. What is the obvious reason for the disparity between the sexes?
The auto industry has always been seen as “masculine”. Due to the hours of the job and the past reputation of dealers, women have stayed away. The good news is we have great role models to look along with many women and minority groups and programs. The course of the industry is and hopefully more women.
Have there been positive changes in the past few years for women looking at this industry as a career?
There have been a lot of changes and more to come. Dealerships have made lots of changes to work schedule and benefits that are offered. More training is offered now from most manufacturers as well as the dealership level. There are multiple sales positions with in the dealership outside of “retail floor” sales. If you prefer to do sales from a desk we a position for that, if you prefer working with lenders then we have a position for that also. We have jobs ranging from part time to full time and everything in between.
What advice would you give to women who want to pursue opportunities in the automotive sector?
Don’t be scared! It’s okay to work a non-traditional schedule. It’s okay to work for commissions. Its okay to work weekends even if you have kids. Some people might disagree but I am a firm believer of quality is more important than quantity. With technology I can talk to my daughter through facetime and text. We have a great relationships and she has never once shown any concern for my work hours. Shes 12 years old now and a straight A student and tennis player. She understand that my career has given us both a great life. So ladies don’t be scared! This a great career with awesome earning potential. I have worked with many moms and we have all found a way to make it work.
Your mission is to bring diversity into the business with more female staff and use technology to provide a more transparent and easy car buying experience to not just women but all customers.
Absolutely. It’s important for everyone to have an amazing experience when it comes to buying their car. As a consumer I want to trust the business I am buying from, no matter if its cars or clothes. Using technology we can achieve that. You should be able to see the price and get numbers without hassle. We make sure that we do that and that we are here for you after the sale. We have a numbers of apps we use to make the process as “paperless” as we can. With the help of Nissan North America and their great tablet system, our new car customers get a digital delivery when they purchase their new vehicle.
How do you improve your financial knowledge?
The best way is to know your credit score. We are so fortunate that we have access to apps like credit Karma or Experian. Know what your score is and what it consists of. If you have a low score its okay, you can ALWAYS repair your credit. Ladies, if you don’t have a credit monitoring app I recommend you get one ASAP. If you want to improve you financial knowledge just google it. There are a lot of blogs and tips on what to do.
If you had an extra 6 hours in your day, what would you do?
I would for sure sleep lol! I do spend a lot of time at work so I would use the extra six hours to hang out with my daughter, go to the gym and binge Game of thrones (FANATIC… I had my whole dealership dress up for Halloween)
What has been your key (or keys) to success?
I don’t take no for an answer (unless I absolutely have to). I have been told no so many times and yet I have been able to turn it into a “yes”. Just believe in yourself and if you think your point is valid then make sure you express yourself.
Just go for it. Even if you’re not 100% sure…. Just go for it. If you don’t then you’ll end up regretting missing out on the opportunity.
Find work life balance and make time for the gym. If you’re not healthy then you won’t have the energy you need to get through the day.
Stay on task but have fun when you’re working. We have
What steps do you take when you want to get through a less of a good business day?
(Internally scream) because you’re allowed to be upset. Then I shake it off and as long as we did our BEST and gave it 120% then I am happy with that effort. I am so lucky that I have had great mentors in this industry who understand that it is okay to have a bad day and not make your staff feel like they failed (because they didn’t) It’s just one day and there is always tomorrow to crush it.