(NewsNation) — There aren’t many women in the auto industry — on average, only one out of every five women are employed in this line of work, and men account for all but 8% of all executive positions.
But some women, like Lauren Gall, an automotive sales consultant at a car dealership in Joliet, Illinois, are using this as an opportunity to stand out on the sales floor.
‘I try to set myself apart from the guys,” Gall said. “A little softer approach, laughter. It’s not selling a vehicle. It’s more on building a relationship.”
Gall is the only woman out of 10 employees on the sales floor at her dealership. It’s a similar story for many others in the field— only one in nine women is a car sales representative.
Automotive strategist Lisa Copeland said this is why the people in charge at dealerships need to be intentional in hiring women.
“I believe you have to see it to believe it. When a woman walks into a car dealership to apply for a job and she looks around, she doesn’t see herself on that sales floor,” Copeland said.
In 2014, Mary Barra took the wheel at General Motors, making her the first female CEO of a major international automaker.
Many women who work in automotive executive positions start out as engineers, Copeland said.
“It takes many, many years to work up to the C-suites,” she said.