The challenges, and rewards, of finding and recruiting women for work in dealerships are not new. Consider the case of "Cadillac Kate" Sullivan.
Sullivan, 63, was a schoolteacher for seven years before she became one of the first women to sell Cadillac vehicles in Detroit in the late 1970s.
"Cadillac Kate," as she came to be known by her customers, was an oddity at a time when men dominated dealerships as employees and customers.
"At that particular time -- this was a long time ago -- mostly men bought cars. It wasn't a woman-man type of family thing," Sullivan says.
In 1978, Sullivan, then 28, taught hearing impaired elementary schoolchildren. Her husband owned a boat business. One day, during Sullivan's summer break from school, she agreed to help at her husband's business. She delivered a dinghy her husband had sold to Paul Mika, then general manager of Seymour Cadillac in downtown Detroit.
That's when lightning struck.