For some reason, even in 2014, it can be a genuinely intimidating and sometimes terrifying experience for a lone female to walk into a car showroom with a view to purchasing a new car. Although being sexist is illegal in many countries around the world (it is a form of discrimination), the ugly truth is that this still happens even today.
Many “old school” car dealers think that only men should buy cars and that women should be at home cooking and looking after the children. This kind of sexist and backwards attitude towards gender equality is something that, unfortunately, can still be seen in many car dealerships.
Even if the women concerned are high-flying businesswomen and have done a fair amount of research on the cars they want to buy, I’ve seen a lot of examples where such women are treated with little respect by the car salespeople that they talk to.
The news isn’t all bad, however. This is because there are a growing number of “female-friendly” car dealerships that women can visit without feeling intimidated or being disrespected by sexist salesmen. But what would you consider to be a female-friendly car dealership? Here are some of my thoughts on the matter.
Honest car salespeople
I know a lot of people think that honesty and sales are two words you would never see in the same sentence unless it is a negative observation about salespeople, but one thing that women find very important when it comes to deciding where to buy their car from is how honest the salespeople are in the dealership.
All too often, many old-fashioned car salespeople see women as a soft target and will try their best to sell them all sorts of unneeded optional extras for the cars they are interested in buying, and these salespeople stereotypically think that men know what they want from a car more than women.
When you walk into a trusted car dealership such as Chelmsford Toyota, you will immediately notice that the salespeople do not treat women any differently to men, and actually listen to their potential customer’s requirements rather than trying to sell them something they don’t want!
I remember walking into a car dealership once and was shocked to see topless girls in calendars being displayed in the main showroom area where some of the sales advisers’ desks were!
A car dealer that both women and men would be happy to visit is going to be one that is a gender-friendly environment.
The smarter car dealers know that they aren’t going to make much money by treating women as stupid people, for example, so it’s in their interests to cater for a variety of customers whether they be women, men, disabled people, fleet managers or millionaires!
I consider a gender-friendly environment to be one where it is obvious the dealer has taken great steps to ensure that the staff they employ are both female and male, and that none of the males employed treat women like they were second-class citizens.