The week before Mother's Day in May allows women to focus on their "mind, body and soul," through a number of free events, Lane said. Past events have ranged from yoga and walking to a webinar on de-stressing tips and a cooking challenge.
Lane said participation has grown over the three years. In May, nearly 40 percent of East Region female employees participated in all events, and more than 55 percent participated in something, she said. Participants also had a chance to win raffled prize baskets, Lane said. Some stores added inspirational messages or fresh flowers in women's restrooms for the week, or created meditation rooms that employees could use, Lane said.
Natalie Jones Rozany, payroll manager for Penske's East Region and a 25-year Penske employee, said she participated in all Women's Wellness Week events offered the past two years at her office in Edison, N.J. She said she enjoyed the camaraderie and the recognition that her health and well-being was important to the company.
"There's not a lot of time to take care of myself," she said. "These two events have really opened my eyes to just small things I can do."
Jones Rozany said she won the raffles both years in her office, receiving Fitbits, weights, exercise bands, makeup and skin care products.
"They hook you up nicely," she said.
Many of Penske's winners on the Automotive News Best Dealerships To Work For list this year mentioned the week as a differentiator and having a positive impact on their staff.
Roger Kaiser, general manager of Audi Chantilly in Virginia, said many of his 15 female staffers have participated, with most taking part the final two days that included T-shirt decorating and wearing the shirts on a lunchtime walk.
Colleen Lilly, administrator at the Audi store, said her favorite activity during the week was the walk.
"Everybody's all dressed the same, so that's fun," said Lilly, a nine-year employee at the dealership.
Kaiser said Penske wants to grow its number of female employees, including on the management side. Three of Kaiser's managers are women.
"This has traditionally been a male-dominated industry, and I think this [will] only help keeping female employees here," he said. "I think it helps, certainly helps with retention. And then I think over time here as we build this up and [add] more people, I think it will help with recruiting."
Eight of the 50-person staff at Jaguar-Land Rover Monmouth in Ocean Township, N.J., are women. General Manager Bill DiMaio said he encouraged his female employees to attend activities during Women's Wellness Week and provided job coverage for them.
"It builds a tighter team," he said.
Was there any jealousy from his male staff? Not at all, DiMaio said.
"I was waiting for that, and we didn't get anything like that," he said, adding that some male employees commented that it was a cool idea.