Empowering Women in Auto, part 1

January 2, 2024
Host Daniel Govaer is joined by Liza Borches, President and CEO of Carter Myers Automotive, Michael Wood, General Manager at Checkered Flag Auto Group, Katie Duncan, Assistant General Manager of Mohawk Chevrolet, and Fabiola Mathis, General Manager at Mercedes-Benz of Lubbock.
Listen On
Apple Podcasts IconSpotify IconGoogle Podcasts Icon

On this episode of the ASOTU Wheelhouse, we delve into supportive strategies for our current and next generation of leaders in our industry focusing on empowerment, specifically addressing the unique challenges faced by women in the auto industry. We will hear from different perspectives of women in auto retail and talk through ways to remove barriers and support their growth.


Host Daniel Govaer is joined by Liza Borches, President and CEO of Carter Myers Automotive, Michael Wood, General Manager at Checkered Flag Auto Group, Katie Duncan, Assistant General Manager of Mohawk Chevrolet, and Fabiola Mathis, General Manager at Mercedes-Benz of Lubbock.


In addition to our panel, we were able interview several women in the auto industry and include their responses in today’s show.


Here’s what we cover in today’s episode:

0:00 Intro and Disclaimer

1:55 Around the Horn with today’s panelists

4:59 Erica Bruno on women in auto

5:53 Discussion on why women are not drawn to auto

11:42 Jesse Cannon-Wallace on women and social media

12:08 Discussion on using social media as a woman in auto

25:47 Erica Bruno on what dealers are supporting women well

28:46 What each of our panelists is taking back to the store

Liza Borches: 0:00

When I first got in the industry I tried to blend in I you know tried to look like all the guys tried to speak like the guys but I did learn that if you embrace your differences, it can be a huge asset we joke that I typically any meeting I go to I'm wearing pink because I want to stand out in a room of Navy and black suits

Daniel Govaer: 0:20

Welcome back everybody to another episode of the wheelhouse we are jam packed today with talent and tell you like I'm super stoked for this episode is gonna definitely be in the wheelhouse style, but quite a little bit different topics that we're going to be covering today. Let me go and introduce who we have here that we're very honored to hear to have and host today. First of all, Liza Borches, President and CEO of Carter Myers automotive, my my partner with the holiday sweater today. Michael Wood general manager at checkered flag Auto Group Jaguar Land Rover and Volkswagen in Virginia Beach, Virginia, Katie Duncan, General Sales Manager, Mohawk Chevrolet, and Fabula, Mathis, General Manager at Mercedes Benz of Lubbock, Texas greetings to all, thank you all so much for being here. Our topic today really is about empowering the next generation and addressing unique challenges faced by women in the automotive industry. So we're going to be delving into some supportive strategies for current and next generation of leaders in the industry, we want to focus on empowerment and engagement. And we want to hear different perspectives of women in auto retail, on talk through the ways to further remove barriers and support our growth as an industry. And of course, just our Quick disclaimer that the views represented here are unique to those individuals who are speaking not representative of their companies, or of a so do I want to go around the horn and we've got 30 seconds on the clock for everybody and kind of the state of the automotive union as it were from, from the female perspective, and what are we facing in the industry that we see coming around the bend here and in the near future, and if we can go around, and we'd start with with Michael for thank you for being a returning guest, I got 30 seconds on the clock for you. And whenever you're ready.

Michael Wood: 2:01

You know, I'm really excited, honestly, uh, you know, on my campus with the two different locations, I have 50% of my sales management is female. And one of them's currently in our leadership development program to push her forward to become a future GM within the organization. So, you know, from the outlook at my organization, I think it's really positive, we look to, you know, to uplift women in the industry and try to, you know, get rid of the barriers that prevent them from wanting to get into it in the first place, whether it's the pay structure, the time off structure, etc. You know, we really have to change it. Because in my experience, the the ladies that I have helping me run my stores, they're the best. I mean, I wouldn't trade them for anything in the world.

Daniel Govaer: 2:39

All right, thanks, Michael. Katie Duncan, I got 30 seconds on the clock for you. You're ready. Go ahead. Yeah,

Katie Duncan: 2:45

I agree. I mean, I think it's an exciting time to try to get more women into the business, our dealership is definitely, I think, pushing the envelope with that. We just promoted a couple more women in our dealership, I just graduated NADA school myself, and I was super flattered for my dosha to invest in me in that way. And I try to give that back to some of our young female leaders here. We just had a young female sales consultant go into finance, she's going to be a sales manager this coming year. So I just like to, you know, give that back to as many females as I can, myself. So

Daniel Govaer: 3:20

also excited my soundboard works today. So there's that but but but I agreed Fabula math is 30 seconds on the clock for you.

Fabiola Mathis: 3:29

I just think that it really goes back to your ownership, your leadership, that's the biggest thing that we can do to encourage, you know, women growing within the organization. You know, the biggest thing the reason why I'm successful is because somebody saw the intensity, the passion, and the love for the business, and they invested into me. So that's what I'm trying to do within my organization and my dealership is reinvest everything that has been invested in me and giving that opportunity to women out there that want to be anonymous.

Daniel Govaer: 4:00

Awesome. Yeah, I'm hoping this is gonna be the platform to give you guys a little bit of a megaphone to do that. All right. And last, but certainly not least, Isaiah 30 seconds on the clock for you.

Liza Borches: 4:10

Um, thanks that, you know, I mentioned a couple of things. When we talk about what's happening in the industry and how this might impact our ability to empower and invest in more women. We're at a time where the last three years have certainly been very different, right. And we've had the discussion on the wheelhouse about how so many of our associates and leaders were not even in the industry prior to the last few years. So we're at a moment to retrain everybody and there's never a better time than to bring in new faces right now as we evolve into what Automotive is going to look like in the future.

Daniel Govaer: 4:41

I'm gonna have you start doing the intros to the show because that absolutely. I can't even agree more. Awesome. We've got so the first segment that we've got here, Erica Bruno, great perspective absolute leader in the industry, right co chair of Vulcan and actually that will came Woman of the Year

Erica Bruno: 4:59

you want women you want, you know, people of color, you want this thing, but you don't have any of the resources to support them. And I think that's the main thing that so many dealers, to attract talent to this industry need to start to look at and go, Okay, do I really have everything that may be my employees are even my customers need to feel supported and want to come here. You know how many times and people have been like, I don't want to go to the dealership for an oil change, I gotta sit there for three hours. And hopefully the kids section has some toys, or you know what I mean? Like, it just gets compounded. So I think you have to not only make your dealership like a destination for your customers, I think you have to make it a destination for your employees as well. So where are they like going to, and they are proud to work there. And I think that's the one thing that I know, if I was a dealer, I would immediately immediately implement anybody jump in.

Liza Borches: 5:55

I'm happy to jump in real quick. And I'm going to speak specifically to some of the benefits that our industry typically has not offered. You know, we as we were studying where we were losing women, we had quite a few women a few years that went out on maternity leave and didn't come back to the organization. And so we were studying what flexible schedules look like. And there are two important things I want to share. One is we found that too often we were offering a flexible schedule to an individual woman versus saying, for our sales team, here are three different schedules that everybody has the option to work. But a woman is singled out and feels that maybe she's getting special treatment, it doesn't allow her to feel a part of the team. And so we've been looking to move to having flexible schedules that can be offered to anyone, not just to a new mom or whatnot. And then the second thing that we looked at was, we really studied and significantly expanded our maternity leave policy. And I really tried to figure out how I could give a stipend to a woman who comes back after maternity leave for childcare for 12 months after. And I found that can't do that unless you offer it to all men and dads too. But we have found a few ways around that not around that actually just support all parents in our organization, through a childcare spending account that we're looking to implement where it will help offset child care after they come back to work. So those are just a couple things that we've been studying.

Katie Duncan: 7:13

Some something that I think is a big thing is our onboarding processes. And dealerships, you know, I've seen through working at a couple different places that I think that's where we fall down across the board. And I just think that that's something that automotive doesn't always get right to attract anyone male or female. And I think that if you have a good onboarding process, you can attract more people that don't have the experience or maybe are hesitant to getting into automotive. I think it's something that our dealership is, you know, when we opened this new store, Chevy stores only four years old, I think we really, you know, bought into, we want to have the best onboarding process. And I think we've been able to take a lot of people that have never been in this business and get them quick success, you know, because they were able to, you know, take it and run with it right away because they got the fundamentals. And I think that if you have that and you can pride yourself on it, you would be able to pull more people and especially women, because they might be a little insecure about going into this business from the start. And if they know they're going to have the support, they will be more inclined to do it.

Michael Wood: 8:08

Yeah, you know, a checkered flag. One of the things we pride ourselves in is our modus operandi is reducing the customers effort to transact. And to the Speaker's point, the customer just isn't the client that's coming in to pay, it's the employees that work at the dealership, as well. So if that is truly your Northern Star, then we should be looking at all the different ways that we can reduce the effort for the females to come into the industry. And for me at my campus, it was an intentional move to make sure that I had females in leadership position. At one point, it was 50% of all of my leadership, fixed ops and variable we're females. Because I believe and listen, this is just coming from the white man in the conversation. But I believe that if there's more people that look like you and talk like you, then you want to come work with those people. So if I had women in places of power, than I would more likely able to get women to come in and work for those women. And it was true. I mean, at the Volkswagen store at one point, we were close to 60% female staff, and the customers love that they absolutely love it.

Daniel Govaer: 9:04

Yeah, fabulous. I want to make sure that the clock Yeah, go ahead and wanna make sure. Yeah,

Fabiola Mathis: 9:07

so like a big thing of everybody is saying is the reason why I left another group that's one of the most successful groups had a great paid plan had really great structure. And the reason why I left there was because there was no females in management at all. There was one female manager out of the 12 stores that they had, and no executives at all. No general managers, no sales managers, just one f&i manager and everybody every other female was in the office in the accounting office. So I didn't see myself in the future with that company. So when it came to the calendars, Julie Herrera was a general manager and now she's still a principal and she owns her own group now that she has two dealerships center. So that's the type of leadership that I saw within my organization. And I went on maternity leave twice in my career with this group and every single time I came back, because they set the expectation that I will is going to the next level. I literally just had my baby five months for my twins five months ago. And I'm the general manager of a brand new store.

Daniel Govaer: 10:08

Congratulate Yeah. gratulations. First of all awesome. I was expecting this to be phenomenal. And this is absolutely that I do want to do one real just to make things even since we tend to talk about Tesla and a lot of our different podcasts, I'd recommend and it's isn't that isn't the offer that I spoke of. But when I googled the things that were in that offer, guess whose website comes up a lot is Tesla careers. So if you look at Tesla in their studios, and see what Tesla associates qualify for from an insurance perspective, they also have daycare, they also have pet care, they also have pet insurance, they also have maternity and paternity leave. So not only you know, you look at we tend to focus a lot on the transactional aspects of companies that that are doing things differently in our industries, I would love it if we spent a 10th of the time looking at what they do to revolutionize the human resource portion of their business because it's significantly different than what it's good enough that even if you don't like Tesla's that you might just consider go working at Tesla because of not only what their compensation ranges but their total rewards package. Alright. But that's not an endorsement I'm just saying look at it. Okay, I'm not employed by I don't get paid by them or and so anyway, or move on to the to the second section, you're very excited that we had Jesse cannon, whilst also known as Ben's blogger on all social media platforms, one of the best in my opinions to do a consummate professional and an absolute standout in the industry widely recognized through the world of Mercedes Benz. And it's been on social media really, since like I said, Before, it was cool. And so we asked her some of her thoughts on the industry as well. And we go ahead and roll that clip.

Jesse Cannon-Wallace: 11:42

Compared to other women currently, no, of course not, we're all kind of in the same boat. But compared to men, sure, you get different interactions, different feedback than you would as a man in the same space. But it may be a benefit to you know, I'm a little bit unique, which provides me a little bit more interest than if I were just another guy

Daniel Govaer: 12:08

thoughts on on the dual Edged Sword of social media worth it, but maybe, but somewhat of a pain or not? Or how does how do we? How do we handle that in in our stores.

Liza Borches: 12:22

I think some of the points that she made aren't specific just to social media, I think there are huge benefits to being a woman in a male dominated industry, if you understand them and embrace them. We joke that I typically any meeting I go to, I'm wearing pink because I want to stand out in a room of Navy and black suits. And so I've learned for quite a few years that there is a great benefit to being different to having different experiences, different lens and perspectives with which to look at the industry. And but I didn't originally, you know, when I first got in the industry, I tried to blend in I, you know, tried to look like all the guys tried to speak like the guys, but I did learn that if you embrace your differences, it can be a huge asset. And that's what she's done on social media. And we see a lot of our female sales associates doing the same, we have had to deal with some unfortunate people who will try to make contacts and messages. I mean, I know I've dealt with it, you all probably have to. And you know, it's just part of life, you block them, you move on, you don't take it personally, you don't allow it to impact you. But it's just an unfortunate piece. But I would think it's more of an asset to be a woman in this industry.

Daniel Govaer: 13:30

Then so I'm just gonna read this for this is we had a great salesperson that spoke to us didn't want to be on the show, but I'm just but I'm gonna read you guys the some of the things that she told us, right? I feel like I cannot if I'm celebrating a client taking delivery of their vehicle, I can have a picture of the vehicle and maybe the picture of the vehicle and the client. I certainly can't be in these pictures anymore because I take care of myself. And I like the way that I represent myself professionally at the dealership. But no matter what I'm wearing, no matter what I look like comments always seem to come back to what I look like or what I'm wearing. I'm not even trying to put myself out there like that. But anything that I have, if I want to stand next to a car, that picture doesn't go up on my social media account, if I want to celebrate with my clients, that picture doesn't go up on my social media account, when I'm trying to talk about product or I'm traveling, trying to talk about clients and I'm not trying to attract the energy that they seem to be giving me back in my DMs. Unfortunately, I guess I just don't know how to outrun that. And so for that reason, I haven't been in front of the camera. And that's not the way that I can continue to promote my brand. And I feel that that's somewhat dis advantageous. Thoughts on that?

Liza Borches: 14:37

That's just me. So

Katie Duncan: 14:41

I think that when when I was a young sales consultant, I understand like what she's saying and I think that that's a shame and I think you touched on that as well that there's going to be people that do things and say things that that aren't good but I think that the leadership around who you know if you're on the sales floor, your sales manager, your finance manager and I I think that it's up to the leadership around these people that are in sales or whatever position you're in to kind of help you get through that and talk you through it on how to conduct yourself and, and persevere through that. Because people are always going to, you know, act the way that they're going to act, but you can't hinder yourself and, you know, your reach on social media because of the way that certain people act. But I think it is a hard thing, being a female, in a male business, because you're surrounded by men and certain, like I said, certain people are gonna act a certain way, but you can't not be yourself because of that. And, and I think it goes to, it goes to interactions to I mean, women, I you guys can probably attest to this, too, I know that I've been called Emotional where I think that, you know, male co workers, they would never be called emotional. And I know, that's one of those things where it certainly makes me mad, which is an emotion, you know, and I think that it's just awareness that, that when you're around men more, and they work with more, more women, they become more aware of it. And I think that that's a cultural thing at your dealership. And, you know, I think I give credit to a lot of the men that work with me over time, you know, I think that they become more aware of it. And then you just build a culture that it I don't want to say that. It's like United Front, almost. But I think that people start to, I don't know, I don't want to say defend, you don't women don't need you to defend them. But it's, it's almost like it's not acceptable. If that happens, you know, around about sales consultant, and then using words like, Oh, you're emotional, and all those different things, that culture is not acceptable, I guess would be the best thing. And

Daniel Govaer: 16:33

plenty of guys that are emotional, incredibly emotional.

Michael Wood: 16:37

I'm about very

Fabiola Mathis: 16:40

emotional, because when people are emotional people buy cars. So the whole point about selling a car is feeding that emotion. So if I can have the most emotional people in my dealership, that's the type of person that I want to hire. So I'm completely opposite about, like, when people are like, Oh, that person's emotional. People are emotional, because they're passionate, because they actually care. And I think that as an industry standard, people stopped caring. People just started looking at dollar signs walking in the door, instead of actually caring about what the customer is looking for, what they're actually after what they're trying to accomplish. And if we can feed into emotion, both men and women are emotional. How many times have I seen somebody just have a complete meltdown on their salesperson because they didn't get the deal? Or the salesperson was overwhelmed? Because the customer kept saying no, and the sales manager wasn't communicating. So motion is for male and female, but I just hate how derogatory. Oh, you're emotional. Hell yeah. I'm emotional. Because I love what I do. And I'm passionate about what I do. And that's, yeah, and like when social media comes in a hand, I love it when people start, like just ripping you apart on social media, because they're talking about you. And when they're talking about you, it's because they're paying attention. When people don't pay attention. There are no comments. So if I were her manager, I'd be like, girl, get it, you need to get in front of every single car. Let's go do it right now. Because I want to see those comments, because that means people are paying attention. And whether it's good or bad, it's publicity. It's marketing, you're getting your name out there. And this is a way to empower you just like you were talking about, you know, you have to empower your salespeople that what they're doing is right. And it sounds like she doesn't have anybody in front of her that is telling her, hey, who cares? You be you the reason why you are getting all those customer pictures is because of you. So be proud of what you do, regardless of what everybody else in the industry thinks because you are your number one cheerleader, and you are the number one person that needs to be proud of who you are, what you look like and what you do as a salesperson.

Daniel Govaer: 18:49

But now you're taking the right like if you're trying to talk about a client experience, and you're trying to talk about the product itself, right, and someone instead is talking about your body or your makeup or your hair and not at all about what it is that your whole brand is about on your page. And that requires a certain level of not only just mental I don't think I don't know is it just mental toughness? I mean, I can see where that's frustrating.

Liza Borches: 19:12

I think it's too though I mean, that's that's being a woman on social media if you're promoting a different industry or different brand you're gonna have that same experience I don't think that's specific to automotive.

Daniel Govaer: 19:23

No, no, I'm not saying it is I'm saying that but like what tools can we come up with? Here's a crazy personal example. So I'm good friends with with a female influencer on the West Coast, millions of followers we had a we had a we have a good friendship and a brand deal. And when she would post and tag me in it, I would get guys in my DMs asking me about her and maybe I'm old fashion this is I don't consider this the way to dating. I don't feel feel like this is chivalry maybe I guess I maybe I'm old fashioned. But that blew my mind so I could only met so she would post something and tag me in it. I'd get three to five Live messages I can only imagine with having millions of followers, how many hundreds of messages she's getting right. And I had to ask her, like, how do you this, like some of the stuff guys are writing me is nuts for me to read even. And I'm like, what? How do you put up with this? And she's got a I mean, but she's been doing it for years. And it's her profession. Right? It's

Michael Wood: 20:21

a love hate relationship with social media. You know, it has so many positive things in it. But at the end of the day, I mean, that's terrible. I mean, I don't have to experience that, you know, thankfully. But it's terrible. Like, you know, and I think it comes down to me for two different points. Like if it's happening on social media, and one of my staff brought that to my attention, I'm going to make sure I bring them and build them back up. But if it's happening, culturally within my store, then there's a cancer that's metastasizing, that needs to be cut out before it continues to go through. And I think those are two fundamentally different things. Obviously, we're talking about how people talk to you on social media. I just, man, I'm, I don't even know what to say, because it's so like, it's disheartening to know that that stuff goes on all the time. And you know, it does, but it's frustrating. It's like, Why Why can't a female just build their brand, whether it's in the automotive industry, or insert industry, industry to license point, you know, it just so frustrated,

Daniel Govaer: 21:12

that's, I think what we came up with here is that it's up to management, to be supportive, to be aware of these things to be involved in it, and then to, you know, to fabulous point to give the, you know, give the support and the backing and say like, you know, there's gonna be ugly thing said doesn't doesn't reflect anything, except for the person saying it?

Katie Duncan: 21:28

Well, because I think the alternative to that would be like she had suggested almost would be that she would almost remove herself from posting and, and that dulls her, you know, she loses out on that, and you let other people win. And that would be the absolute worst case scenario. And that's where, you know, that would be a no shot for me to ever lay out 100 people

Liza Borches: 21:52

posting the power versus her being in control and having the power over her own industry, her profession,

Fabiola Mathis: 21:58

her career, right, yeah. And plus, like, my mom always said, she's like, don't ever change who you are. If somebody wants to think of you in a negative light, shame on that. Never change who you are because of the ideals and the bad mentality that somebody might have over you. But the moment that you change who you are and what you do, then that's when you let them win. So you have to just keep building them up. And social media is such a great platform to sell cars. When I was selling cars, I was selling 30 cars a month, pretty consistently. And the reason for it was because I was selling my friends, my neighbors referral business, and it was all Facebook back then, you know, Instagram really wasn't that big when I first started in the industry. But that's what you've got to do. And of course, I have the negative side of it, too. But that's everything in life. Everything in life has the good and the bad. And you have to learn how to have that mental fortitude, to say, Okay, I gotta take the good with the bad, but also have that support, that's the biggest thing is our people need to know that we actually care about them, and just rebuild them back up, because this industry just has a really bad reputation of just yelling and cursing. And it is what it is you got to be tough you got to deal with it. We call that direct communication. It's okay to feel the way that you feel because they are being you know what, but just take it back rebuild them up, you got this man and just sending him back. Like the customers building them up. Why beat them up more when they get into the tower? Alright,

Katie Duncan: 23:29

so I was gonna gonna say too, is, you know, there's there's not a right way or wrong way to dress and present yourself. You know, that's freedom of expression and whatnot. But, but I know one thing that when I was young, you know, I started selling cars when I was 2120. I just turned 22 fresh out of college. And I mean, I was wearing clothes that it was like, I just graduated college, I'm wearing stuff I used to wear out when I went to college, trying to make it work appropriate, and it probably wasn't work appropriate. And I had a an older female finance manager pulled me aside one time. And you know, she was like, hey, like, maybe we don't want to wear this to work anymore. We want to dress a little more professionally you want you want people to take you serious in a male dominated business like maybe we dress a little more appropriate and and you know, that was probably an awkward conversation Berto, but I remember to this day, like I was super appreciative that she did that, you know, I was young you I was a college athlete, like you couldn't tell me nothing. And I really appreciated that she told me that and that's a real thing. And I laugh because I do that now with some of my, my young, you know, female salespeople, you know, up and coming managers. And it's not I don't think it's condescending or anything like that. I think it's sometimes the way you present yourself can lead to that a little bit too, you know, if you if, if maybe she's getting some of that feedback on on social media, I would say you know, how are you presenting yourself in your pictures to and, again, everyone its expression, you can dress however you want. You can do your hair, your makeup however you want. But if you're getting a certain response all the time, that goes back to that same thing about mentorship and leadership. That would be something I think a leader could maybe do for her as is evaluate the content that She's putting up to see, you know, you know, no one deserves any type of feedback at all. I'm not condoning that. But I'm just saying that's part of that, that leadership and mentorship I think that women can give other women

Daniel Govaer: 25:12

support. Absolutely. So all right, we're gonna, we're gonna split this episode into two because you got I can't tell you guys no, because you guys have such good points to make. And I want to hear all of it. And I'm hoping we give the platform for it. So we're going to the next one, skip ahead ahead a little bit. We've saved some clips for the next time. But this is this is Erica Bruno again, when I asked her about what dealers are doing it right, and how are they meeting the needs of their their staff, and this is what I want to hear from you guys. When we come back as a specific what a takeaway, I go back to the store, what's one thing where I can start, we can go ahead and listen to Erica describing it and her words, um, that

Erica Bruno: 25:47

I really admire that I followed up with and unfortunately haven't had a chance to visit but I open within 2024 I could do that is Carter Myers. Like, I feel like they do a really great job. And like I've seen, you know, in met people that have worked there that just are like we have a really good environment. And I I admire that because not only is it a female led organization, you know, you can tell that they really care about their people. And I think that's, that's always the biggest thing for me whenever I walk into either a independent store organization is like, do you feel like this is a group of people that genuinely care about each other? Now, that's not to say everyone's gonna get along and be BFFs 20 horses, but you can tell they genuinely care, and they want to keep each other safe.

Daniel Govaer: 26:33

See, I wanted to see your face Surprise, surprise,

Liza Borches: 26:36

I can't wait to meet Eric. I've never met her before. We would love to host her and have her come visit CMA.

Daniel Govaer: 26:43

Why do you think that? That someone who's never been to your your any of your stores? Why is it that that she has such an opinion about you about your company?

Liza Borches: 26:53

You know, it's interesting that we just finished talking about social media. But we do have a lot of our associates sharing our story and our culture and their level of care out on social media, and a lot of them are women. So I would go back to our last question, say there is a way to do it, and do it well in a meaningful way. But sharing our story, I think our whole industry can and should and will do a better job sharing our story. We talked earlier about women wanting to see other women who are both successful, happy and embracing this industry is a great career path. And social media is one of the great platforms that we can use to share our stories. And so if we are instilling that, that feeling of being valued of of understanding that they have a strong future with our company, people want to share that story. And so we've encouraged and as a couple of people mentioned, as leaders, we have helped our team understand how to best share their story on social media, how to do it authentically. And so I think that's probably how Erica found us was just a lot of our team members. We don't do great on social media on our actual dealership pages. It's all personal pages of our team, who are out there loving this industry and loving people.

Michael Wood: 28:10

I mean, I'll answer it for you. I mean, I've worked down the street from where she's located. The reason why she's saying that is because it's true. I mean, they've got a great organization up there in Richmond, and in the surrounding areas and whatnot. And that's exactly why female said exactly what she said it's the organization is a beacon of what we should be aspiring to be in the industry, when it comes to, you know, the benefits. The I mean, if correct me if I'm wrong, I believe organizations and ESOP as well. I mean, those are things you don't hear in our industry. And that goes to the point I made earlier to where we have to be demonstrably better. And I thank you for doing that. And for being that, in our industry. Don't

Daniel Govaer: 28:47

put you on the spot. What's What's one thing you're going to take to your next manager's meeting, what do you what is there anything from this that you're going to take to them?

Michael Wood: 28:55

For me, personally, I think, you know, I often tell myself that I'm doing I'm being progressive. And then I come on to this show this, Dan, thanks for having me on. It's the third time I think now and every single time I go back, and the last few times, it's been by things that females in our industry have taught me that, hey, I need to relook at this a little differently, whether it was Gen Suzuki with how we handle leads, or today, like, you know, I need to go back and really look at it just because I have 50% sales managers doesn't mean that I have an environment that's fostering the growth for those females that are working underneath them. And I think I need to try to look through a different lens a little more often to make sure that I am creating an environment that's conducive for for females to be successful. And that's what I'm gonna do when I get off this call.

Daniel Govaer: 29:39

Okay, Katie, what about you anything, anything from here that would, I mean, you're already doing a lot of it right? But

Katie Duncan: 29:44

I wrote down and start the 10 week paid maternity leave and just started looking into our maternity leave. And then I looked at Rodon to look at the Tesla ads just to kind of look at something like that and see what they're offering. I thought that was a really good idea to to, like you said See the competition and just look at, you know what a good benefits package would be comparable to ours.

Unknown: 30:08

Awesome tabula.

Fabiola Mathis: 30:09

I just really liked the old program about childcare, especially because I'm the one that's going through it right now. So that's something that I would want to free to write to my HR department and say, Hey, I know we just got maternity leave. But what about childcare? Because, you know, where does the baby go, and you guys want us to come back to the dealerships. And that would be a huge benefit for both mom and dad. So that's a big takeaway that I want to bring back to the organization because I'm going through it right now. That's why my husband, she's in the industry, but he's a full time dad right now with three kids under two years old. So like just the fact that we're gender swapping from the gender norms of the mom staying home, and the dad working, my husband is staying home, and I'm working, but he wants to come back to his career, but he's doing what's best for our family. So it's kind of unfortunate that, you know, we don't have childcare, we can't find childcare, and we don't have the resources just yet. So that's a big thing that I want to kind of assure into the dealership, maybe if one person does it, just like we've seen, you know, really great examples throughout the country of women led organizations having those changes, somebody's got to spearheaded, somebody's got to change it. And it's kind of cool that we have someone in our group that actually has spearheaded a lot of that. So thank you for all the leadership that you've created within your organization. Because women like me, are encouraged that it is possible that we've seen people have successful careers in being owners and principals that are female, that have children, too. Yeah.

Daniel Govaer: 31:43

And it just reminds your husband that lesson that I had to learn to it's not it's not babysitting, it's not called can't call babysitting, when it's your own kids.

Fabiola Mathis: 31:52

I usually that's that's so funny, because he tells me every day, he's like, Oh, my gosh, I want to go back to work. And somebody's got to watch these kids. And I'm like these kids, other than their behavior at the time. So he's, he's a, he's been a finance manager. And he was actually going into a sales manager program. So right before we ended up leaving San Antonio, he was just about to get promoted. So he left his entire career and followed me in my career. And he told me, when we got married, you had 10 years in the industry, and I wasn't gonna let you not get to the next step. So that's another thing that's really awesome. And my husband is retired military, like, my husband is that guy he did so much in the military. And he gave up everything with his career, and he had only been in the dealerships for three years. And he was about to make sales manager. So for me, it like, pinches my skin, because it's like, oh, my gosh, imagine if I had that kind of support how far I would have been 11 years down the road versus my husband, that he's been in it for almost three years. And he's almost a sales manager, it took me almost six years to get there. And it took my organization one year to get me to a management position because I was with the right group. And it took six years to figure out I was with the wrong groups and the wrong people that were never going to promote me, and you live in learn. And I just don't want the women of the future to have to go through that, and not have that kind of support that I didn't have when I was

Daniel Govaer: 33:24

at other organizations. All right. Well, I thank everybody for being on here. And I know we ran a little bit long, we will have a part two of this. And you know, if we just start beating our little drum and just start just a tiny little flame, maybe people that are listening to this can just ask the questions. Hey, what, why don't we look at maternity leave, hey, why don't we look at a daycare solution, whatever that might be. And if enough of us start asking, maybe we start getting some different answers and what we've had so far, thanks again for everybody for listening, and we will catch up with you guys here in just a couple of weeks. Thanks, everybody.

Get the daily email that makes reading the news actually enjoyable. Stay informed and entertained, for free.