TO THE EDITOR:
Although women have made tremendous progress in the fight against gender and wage inequality, the odds are still stacked against women working to become leaders. This is especially true in the male-dominated automotive retail industry. The National Automobile Dealers Association's 2021 Dealership Workforce Study found that only about 19 percent of active employees in new-car dealerships were women at the end of 2020.
Such statistics not only can damage women's confidence, but prevent them from climbing to the top of workplace hierarchies. The following strategies can help.
- Join the men's table: Take a note from men and become your own champion. Don't be afraid to speak out in meetings, share your accomplishments and be vocal about career advancement.
- Make your own rules: Most successful women are risk-takers who aren't afraid to showcase their talents and ask for what they're worth. Instead of shrinking to whom you believe you're expected to be, reflect on what's important to you, what you desire to attain and what path you'll take to get there.
- Work your network: Making connections is essential to advance your career. Take time to network with other professional women, join female leadership programs, attend networking events and consult your senior executives for guidance on how to get ahead.
While obstacles are inevitable for ambitious women on their journey to workplace success, such guidelines can ensure a swifter climb up the corporate ladder. In daring to speak up, women can and will put their own unique dent in the glass ceiling.
WHITNEY YATES-WOODS, President, Yates Buick-GMC Goodyear, Ariz.