Jennifer Lewis-Hodgson was working as an assistant in a body shop when an insurance appraiser she worked with recommended her for the collision center manager job at Grossman Chevrolet-Nissan in Old Saybrook, Conn.
"I came in here with zero management experience," said Lewis-Hodgson, who has managed that collision center since November 2019. "But when I had questions, [the Grossman management team] had the patience to really hear what I was trying to say."
Women aren't lining up to fill fixed ops job openings at dealerships, but some stores are successfully attracting women. Those that do are finding female managers enable a dealership culture that creates a great work environment for all employees.
"As we have had success hiring women, training women and finding women who stand out in this industry, we have realized women bring such an interesting culture to the dealership — one that is different than the traditional male manager," said Linda Grossman, president of Grossman Chevrolet-Nissan.
Grossman came up in her family's dealership working for male managers. Now, her comptroller, service manager and collision center manager are all women. Grossman said they approach their job and their fellow employees differently than many men might.
"Women tend to think more about what that person may have going on in other parts of their lives," she said, "[and] how they can manage all those different pieces of their lives."