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Engaging Women in the Automotive Sector

Engaging Women in the Automotive Sector

June 13, 2019

Post Media Column – June 14, 2019

The auto industry has long been considered a male dominated industry. In fact, a 2016 study by Catalyst Research found women accounted for about 20 percent of the auto vehicle manufacturing workforce in Canada, with less than 14 percent of those holding jobs related to auto repair and maintenance.

For too long, women have been under-represented in our sector. And while we are seeing a positive shift in recent years as more women pursue training opportunities, there is more that must be done to create opportunities, and by doing so, strengthen our industry and ensure its long-term sustainability.

The reality in our sector is that the current average age for employees is 55-years at new car dealers, meaning that within the next ten years, the majority will face the prospect of retiring. In fact, a 30 percent turnover rate is forecasted within the next decade, which will open up more than 20,000 new career opportunities across the province for British Columbians.

A career in the auto industry offers a wide-range of opportunities ranging from mechanics, technicians, sales people, customer service professionals, accountants, business administrators and managers – to name just a few. In each case, there is the potential for a family supporting job and career for the taking.

Our national body, the Canadian Automobile Dealers Association (CADA) actively promotes industry opportunities through carsandjobs.com, which provides information on job opportunities in communities across the country, including here in BC. There are also career pathways and education grant and scholarship opportunities highlighted at newcardealers.ca for those wishing to pursue a career in the automotive industry.

Our Association is in the midst of developing a strategy to address the education and training needs that will ensure a workforce is developed and trained to meet the needs of today – and moving forward.

Certainly, an important aspect of developing a strategy will involve making a career in the auto sector an attractive one for women. We will need to delve into the underlying factors that have contributed to such a male-dominated industry and address those factors in a matter that serves to address and overcome the barriers.

This isn’t and shouldn’t be a discussion about men versus women. Rather it should be a discussion that is focused on how best to attract people with great work ethic and leadership skills – and whether they be male or female, putting the onus on one’s ability to lead and inspire, to motivate, engage and perform in an exciting and dynamic auto industry.

For the latest information on careers in automotive, visit: https://carsandjobs.com/

Blair Qualey is President and CEO of the New Car Dealers Association of BC. You can email him at bqualey@newcardealers.ca

Dealer Members with New Car Dealers Association

We represent more than 375 New Car Dealers throughout British Columbia.