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7 Women Dominating Male Domains

Dealerships Automotive News

Women Driving the Success of the Auto Industry Successes

The significance of the influence of women in the automotive industry has not been completely disregarded, despite it being traditionally male-dominated.

When it comes to purchasing power, women rank high when it comes to decision making. However, single women, who are the sole decision-makers in car purchases, are one of the fastest-growing segment demographics.

From the manufacturer and dealership ranks, women offer a different perspective on vehicle convenience, comfort, practicality, design and value than men. Because of hard work and years of crashing the glass ceiling, women are increasingly involved in the highest echelons of the auto industry.

7 Women Leading the Industry

1. Mary Barra

Most prominently, Mary Barra has served as Chairman and CEO of General Motors, of course for some 5 years, during a turbulent time for the post-bankruptcy US automotive giant.

Expressing the weight of her responsibilities, "I believe the auto industry will change more in the next 5 to 10 years than it has in the last 50," Barra said.

In this mostly unresolved emerging future, GM must grapple with the often conflicting trends of electric vehicles (EV), ride-sharing, autonomous vehicles and new concepts in public transportation, and private car ownership.

Women in automotive
General Motors Chairman and CEO Mary Barra meets with plant employees at the GM Fort Wayne Assembly plant Thursday, May 30, 2019,
(Photo by Shane Pequignot for General Motors)

2. Pamela Fletcher

Meanwhile, running herd for General Motors on the multiple wild card EV sector is Pamela Fletcher, VP of Global Electric Vehicle Programs. Over the years, women have risen to the top of the auto dealership business.

General Motors Executive Chief Engineer Electrified Vehicles Pamela Fletcher
(Photo by Joe Wilssens for Chevrolet)

3. Ellenae Fairhurst

In a double milestone in 1988, Ellenae Fairhurst in Hunstville AL became the first Black-owned Lexus dealership owner in the South and indeed the first Black Woman dealership owner in the country. She was so successful with her Lexus franchise; she paid off her 15-year note in just eight years. 

Fairhurst is the first African-American female owner of a Lexus dealership located in Huntsville, Alabama.

4. Elizabeth Krear

This past year FCA rocked the market with its contemporary take on the rough and ready Jeep Gladiator all-terrain mid-sized pick-up truck. Due to the reason that Senior Engineer Elizabeth Krear was the lead on this most mucho macho product launch.

Women in Auto
Senior Engineer Elizabeth Krear
Jeep; Rubicon; Gladiator; New Zealand; FCA; Barry Hathaway

Ford Motor Company has been leaping the new frontiers of automotive technology, filling more than 3,000 digital jobs in the past three years. Additionally, women have filled many of these critical jobs. They are noted for above-average advanced computing, analytical and tech skills.

Additionally, during the launch of Mustang Mach-E, a team of 25 women worked on critical advanced features. For instance, the Ford Co-Pilot360 active drive assist. This allows for limited self-steering when the driver keeps their eyes on the road. 

5. Elena Ford

Meanwhile, another notable woman from Dearborn HQ is Elena Ford, Chief Customer Experience Officer, a scion of the founding family following in the footsteps of Great-Grandfather Henry Ford, Grandfather Henry Ford II and Uncle Edsel Ford.

Elena Ford is the Chief Customer Experience Officer for
Ford Motor Company.
Photo by Ford Motor Company

6. Leah Curry

Leah Curry is President of Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Indiana (TMMI). She is a 20-year veteran of the manufacturing industry, with the leading Japanese carmaker in the U.S.

Certainly, it seems like a massive challenge for the auto industry is bringing more women into dealership sales and nurturing them to success. For instance, there is a 98% attrition rate among women starting out in automotive sales. 

Additionally, this is counter to the natural advantages women bring to the car buying process. Above all, women are more engaged, intuitive, better listeners and precise presentations of details necessary to the buying decisions.

TMMWV President Leah Curry

7. Lyamen Savy

In the fast-paced but volatile automotive industry, Lyamen Savy saw an opportunity to move an entire industry forward. By providing street-level car dealerships the most advanced web tech tools on the planet.

Savy, Founder and CEO of 321 Ignition, is a powerhouse leader with a proven track record of success. Additionally, Savy has revolutionized putting the customer first to achieve marketing breakthroughs.

The daughter of a Russian refugee, Savy came to America with only the clothes on her back and an unrelenting drive to live a life of purpose.  She climbed sales and marketing ranks in nearly two decades to become Microsoft's Sr. Global Marketing Manager.

Additionally, it's at Microsoft that she exceeded the company's sales goals by 80%. She scaled the footprint of Office 365 SMB Direct channel from 12 countries to 41, all within a single year.

In conclusion, she can be found applying her multimillion-dollar lead generation, customer acquisition and full lifecycle marketing programs the automotive industry; a field lacking in customer-facing products and resources.

321 Ignition Founder and CEO
Lyamen Savy