Christy Roman is living life in the fast lane as Founder and President of Women in Automotive (WIA), a partnership interested in “assisting the Automotive Community in recruiting, retaining, and developing female employees and leaders.” Her background in advertising sales, management, and start-ups helps her as she and the WIA group promote engagement and involvement by women in every facet of the automotive industry.
Identify the Disconnect
Ms. Roman recognized that the automotive industry – whether it was in engineering or sales – had a disconnect where women weren’t as actively involved in the industry, while at the same time 80% of automotive purchases were influenced by women. What do you do to encourage female involvement in an industry dominated by men? For Roman, you jump into action.
A Twofold Purpose
When WIA was founded by six industry female leaders, the focus was on finding ways to empower and develop women in the automotive industry. Christy explained:
“The purpose of Women in Automotive is really twofold. The first is to empower women who work in the industry, to give them an opportunity to network and learn from each other, to show them what a great industry it is that we work in. The second [purpose] was to help dealers change culturally.”
Regarding the cultural changes WIA sees as necessary in the automotive industry, Roman elaborated that WIA aims to instill a work-life balance that isn’t always present in the industry’s current state. WIA also provides advice and support to female students who may be considering a career in the automotive industry through internship programs and scholarships.
“We weren’t necessarily looking to change lives,” Roman says, “but the fact that we have makes it really that much more special.”
For more information on Christy Roman and Women in Automotive’s work, visit their website here.
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