Men still dominate the F&I business, but women are looking to claim a spot, insiders say.
In October, for example, half of the students at Service Group’s F&I training school, The Academy, were female, said Tony Dupaquier, the school’s director.
Women are well-suited to the F&I role, he said. They tend to be good at following a process and building quick rapport. “There’s something naturally comforting with a woman in that position,” Dupaquier said. Customers’ “defenses typically go down.”
Sixteen percent of F&I managers at new-vehicle dealerships were female in 2015, according to the National Automobile Dealers Association’s most recent work force study. Women make up a small percentage of F&I managers, but after service adviser, F&I manager is the most common key dealership position among women. Among sales consultants, parts consultants, parts managers, service managers, sales managers, general managers and service technicians, women made up just 9 percent or less.
Women traditionally value structure and training, Dupaquier added, but dealerships often lack robust training programs and consistent structure. When stores do give women training, “a lot of times,” he said, “they’ll stay.”