Director of culture, Mark Miller Subaru
If being committed to diversity, equity and inclusion is a belief system, consider Megan Stenquist a prophet who’s been building up some disciples through both her words and her actions.
In the five years since she’s been on the job, the director of culture at Mark Miller Subaru in Salt Lake City has not only expanded recruiting into diverse and underrepresented communities, but completed two pay equity studies that fixed some unintentional disparities and improved morale.
In 2020, the dealership — which has about 240 employees across two locations — raised its minimum pay from $13 to $15 an hour and made similar adjustments for large numbers of its employees as a result of the change. And in July, they repeated the process, raising minimum pay from $15 to $17 an hour.
“It was a whole process of just kind of evaluating everyone’s pay and making sure that we’re fair and equitable across both of our locations and all of our different departments,” Stenquist said. “And in doing so, we discovered quite a few areas where there were pay inequities.” These inequities mostly involved women who were working in similar roles as men.
“It was not intentional, but we discovered that they weren’t being paid fairly,” said Stenquist. “So it felt really good to be able to come across that and make some positive change for the women here.”
Stenquist, who came to the dealership after working for a local nonprofit, said she originally couldn’t see herself in automotive retailing, but now she loves it. Her work has not gone unnoticed. She was asked by brand executives to speak to other Subaru dealers about her efforts to build stronger cultures at Mark Miller Subaru.
Her job title, which is not common in automotive retailing, gives Stenquist a broader mandate across the business than would be the case if she were simply head of human resources.
“I get to be creative and work pretty autonomously, just to make sure that we have a good culture,” she explained. The dealership has a culture committee that meets a few times a year to discuss issues and come up with plans to develop a stronger culture, beyond just the traditional celebrations and team-building activities.
“I just really try to make sure we’re staying relevant with our policies and procedures, that we’re not stuck in the past,” Stenquist said.
— Larry P. Vellequette